'Great is already the punishment of sin when the fear of the future divine judgment is lost.' – St Augustine
(Gospel text: LK 21:5-11)
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here? the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down." Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky."
The reason for the end of the world and the day and hour of the end is unknown. It's the same with our lives. We all think we will live to a ripe old age and die in our bed surrounded by family and friends. Maybe not. Each one of us is only a heartbeat away from eternity and therefore our apocalypse may be right around the corner.
We spend so much time worrying about the future and regretting the past. The message of the apocalypse is to live in the end of time right now. Apocalypse Now...and Eternity Now. In other words, learn to live in the present moment.
How shall we then live?
Live with a heart full or repentance. Be sorry for your sins with all your heart right here and right now. Go to confession regularly. Let the Sacrament of Reconciliation and all the graces that go with it release you from any "baggage" that you may have. This will allow you to live with a heart full of joy. Finally, live this present moment as a moment free from fear.
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
This means life can be lived to the full and full of joy. The world may end with a crash tomorrow, tonight or the next moment, but because our trust is in the one who is the Alpha and the Omega--the beginning and the end we can live in confidence, joy and peace.