The scripture readings for this 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time bring to our attention various aspects of the End Time, calling forth Michael, the Archangel, as guardian of the people to be with us. The readings call us to recognize some fearsome events taking place on the earth and in the heavens.
When I pay attention to the world around me, I agree that what I witness could very well be the End Time. But the readings also provide antidotes for that fear, and speak to me of “the wise who shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever”.
As we listen to daily news and even witness within our own lives this chaos, conflict, and suffering, we know these are chaotic times, but we know too the Truth that Jesus is with us. We hold fast to Him. We rely on Him, our portion and our cup, revealed in word, sacrament, and in all of creation. We see Jesus revealed in our Church, our leadership, and our colleagues who seek for justice, peace, and reconciliation. We find Him in our poor and in our refugees, and in those who seek to help them.
And though we believe that chaos in the heavens and on earth is a promised part of the End Time, we also take time to celebrate the wonders of our cosmos, even noted in the jubilant faces of those who have traveled into space. We embrace our responsibilities to all the creation on earth and in the heavens.
We hold in our hands as sacred offerings the suffering and jubilation on both the earth and the heavens. We take our human and Christian responsibility to address what we can. We entrust these sacred dichotomies into the hands of our loving and ever-faithful God who alone knows when this End Time will be. And as we wait, we know for certain that Jesus is with us always and in all ways--even to the end of time.
Sr. Geraldine Wodarczyk