“Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)
Both our first reading and our Gospel passage begin on a rather sad and tense mood, they both speak of destruction, punishment and calamity, but surprisingly, they both end on very joyful and hopeful tones.
John concludes by saying: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” While Jesus ends by saying: “Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads because your redemption is drawing near.”
Of course, there would be great distress upon the earth. Many shall fall by sword and great signs shall appear in heaven and on earth. Surely, we all shall face judgment one day. Babylon (which signifies the great evils in this world) shall be thrown down and avenged. But then, the message for us today is that in the midst of all these terrifying events that shall mark the end of time, there is no need for us to be afraid or go into panic attacks.
Like our people would say: “A clear conscience fears no accusation.” No matter what would become of this world, those who continue to live in the light of Christ will surely be rewarded. Let us not be overcome by the pervasive evil around us. If you cannot beat them, do not join them. Continue to raise your heads high in virtue and never give in to sin because your redemption is close at hand.
Right now, it may seem as if evil people are succeeding and there is nothing left for the virtuous. Some time ago, a young man asked me if it is possible to become rich in this country without getting into some sinful act in one way or another. He was so convinced that the hardship of the economy today leaves no room for the success of the righteous. Today’s readings answer his question. Judgment day is real. Those who seem to be succeeding today through evil means will surely face God’s vengeance one day.
Everything seems dull and bleak. No one knows where our nation’s economy is going. Faced with another economic depression and stagflation (prices of food and essential commodities jumping above the roof) and a government of that seems unconcerned, we are left with no choice but to harken the words of Jesus: “Look up and raise your heads.” Yes, let us look up. Look up at God, not to social media. Look up, take your minds away from what is troubling you. Look up and surrender everything to God.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may I endure to the very end. Amen.
Bible Study: Revelation 18:1-23,19:1-9 Psalm 100:1-5 and Luke 21:20-28).