“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” What is Jesus communicating in today’s Gospel? He is warning us against misreading the signs of the times. It is tempting to give in to a spirit of defeatism. We can think that everything in the world is falling apart. Every day in the news, we hear about “wars and insurrections, powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues”. We read about scandals in the Church. We hear about priests and bishops being removed from ministry, and in some cases going to jail. It can be tempting to think the end is near. It can be tempting to give in to despair and to lose hope.
Jesus offers us advice in such circumstances. He reminds us to persevere in faith. He reminds us to trust in Him during difficult times. If our eyes are on Jesus; if we focus on the Sacred Scriptures and study our Catholic faith; if we avail ourselves regularly of the sanctifying grace of the Sacraments; if we spend time daily sitting at His feet in prayer and allow Him to be our rock and foundation, then we will not give in to the temptation to turn to someone other than Jesus and His Church faith, hope, and charity.
Friends, when circumstances around us become so crazy that we find it difficult to continue to believe there is a God who loves us and still has a plan for us, there is only one place to turn for hope…Jesus. “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Friends, the scriptures and liturgical celebrations leading up to the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, are reminding us of the importance to have an eternal perspective. There is more to life than what we experience here and now. God is calling us to be part of His kingdom. He is inviting us to allow Him to redirect our focus from being preoccupied with the things of the world to being focused on Him and His plans for our lives and the world we live in.
Jesus, help us to see our lives and the world we live in through the lens of your plan for us. Help us, like St. Paul, to persevere in faith and to run the race to the finish.