Sunday, November 18, 2012

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker 

One week left until the end. Not the end of time — just the end of the church year. Don’t be alarmed! Don't panic, please!

But even if we were inclined to take the Gospel somewhat literally, one only has to listen to Jesus' words in the Gospel today to calm themselves: "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." This language of the Gospel is referred to as Eschatological — that is, referring to the end times. It is a very special kind of writing in the scriptures. There are whole books that are completely Eschatological in nature — the book of Daniel, and Revelation. These books intend to do some very specific things. First, they want to shake us out of our lethargy about how we live to wake us up to the reality of God and his call to live just and faith-filled lives. By talking about the end times, we look more seriously at the present times.

The scriptures talk about all kinds of things happening in the heavens, not because they may necessarily happen or happen this way; it is a very traditional way to speak about the whole universe coming undone or being awakened to God and his presence in our lives.

It should be no surprise to us that the stars would have some message for us. After all, they even showed the way to the birthplace of Jesus. There are even some people who consult their astrology charts each day so that the stars and heavens can direct their lives and keep them in harmony with the heavens above (although that is not something we Catholics actually believe).

It’s a good thing to think about things coming to an end. Perhaps, then, we will also think about how we should be holding them together.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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