Gospel: Lk 21:34-36
Be on your guard: don’t immerse yourselves in a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you unaware, like a trap! For, like a snare, will that day come upon all the inhabitants of the earth. But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Every now and then some wild-eyed pseudo-prophet announces the end of the world either in the very near future or on a specific date. This happens so often (practically once a year worldwide), that very few people, apart from some unbalanced minds, take these prophecies seriously. We know, of course, that our planet Earth will eventually be destroyed by a passing meteor or the freezing of the Sun or some other phenomenon. But by then we might have moved to another solar system. So, in practical terms the prospect of an end of the world is pretty worthless if we want to use it, for example, as a motive to reform our lives.
Yet, the warning of Jesus in today’s gospel reading, “Be on your guard,” is still quite relevant, independently of the prospect of a near end of the world. Why? Because we will die sooner or later, some of us quite sooner than we expect. Which means that the end of our world can happen at any time: heart attack, car accident, terrorist bomb, earthquake or other natural disaster.
Because of that, should we not heed Jesus’ warning and be prepared to meet our Maker at any moment?