“Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying,
I am he!' and,The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.” (Luke 21:8)
Using very graphic images, John in our first reading describes the end of the world in terms of harvest. This is just in line with what Jesus in our Gospel passage taught about judgment day; how the sheep shall be separated from the goats; how those who have done well will rejoice while some will be sent to a place of crying and weeping.
In order for us not to get too attached to imagery, we must dwell on the essence of the message itself – there is nothing that we do that does not have its repercussion. For every good deed and for every wrong deed there is a boomerang effect. We are free to make our choices but we are not free to escape their consequences.
Compared to eternity, our life on earth is very short. It is like a time of planting and it is exactly what we plant, that determines the harvest we get. Surely, the day of harvest will be a surprise to us, it will be a day of great disturbance, turmoil and sadness. Jesus points out in today’s Gospel passage, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:10-11).
As you go about your daily tasks today, let this question dwell in your mind: “Harvest day must surely come; what am I planting today?” Am I planting what I would like to harvest on the last day?
Today the colour of our vestments is red. We remember today some persons who shed their blood for the sake of preaching the Gospel in accordance with the mandate of Jesus to “Go into the whole world and preach.” We remember, St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions who were killed in Vietnam while spreading the Christian Faith. May our remembrance of them today strengthen our resolve to stand for Christ even when such requires our blood. Amen.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus may my life yield a great harvest. Amen.
Bible Study: Revelation 14:14-19, Psalm 96:10-13 and Luke 21:5-11).