Next weekend we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. This marks the end of a Liturgical Year, or cycle of life within the Church. A new year will begin with the season of Advent. In the final weeks of the Church year the readings point to the “end times”. “End times”, in one form or another, are the preoccupation of many cults and sects. Indeed the news and entertainment business is filled with pundits and pollsters speculating on end times of one sort or another. The current pandemic and extremes of climate around the world seem to elevate an immediacy of cataclysm that is sometimes hysterical.
But end times are something very present and real for thousands of people around the world persecuted for their faith. Many choose faithfulness to Jesus over forced conversion to other religions, just as the martyrs of the early church did. They remind us that end times will indeed come at some point for the world. But nobody really knows when. Jesus said that this was known only by the Father. But an end time will come for each of us personally. And the Gospel today asks if we are prepared or preparing for that day. Our faith is a precious and powerful gift. It can’t be taken for granted. And if we live it daily we will always be prepared and ready.