We are nearly to the end of the liturgical year. The whole of the Church Calendar is meant to be a tool for teaching about the Christian life and faith. We start the year in Advent though, not Christmas, the officially Advent is supposed to be about the triumphant return of Lord Jesus and our longing and our hoping that day will come quickly. In Christmas we remember the story of Jesus’ first coming and that starts a long season that goes to the beginning of Summer and the Feast of Pentecost, where we learn about the events and meaning of Jesus’ life among us.
That’s a pretty neat idea and it makes sense. It’s a good way to teach about Jesus and to take a yearly refresher course in what he means to us and to the World. But it doesn’t work out that way. It seems like right around the Feast of All Saints (November 1) we make the turn to the end of the World a few weeks before we get to Advent. We’ll still hear about the end of this World and the coming Judgement in December, Merry Christmas to you my friend indeed!, but in our daily readings and in our Sunday readings we’re hearing about the end times each week already.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is warning us that the Apocalypse is coming. That word, apocalypse means “hidden” in Greek. Jesus is telling us in the Gospel today that the violence and injustice that is present in the world, and which seems hidden from us, is about to become manifest and evident to everyone. It will be a hard time, a violent time. It will bring destruction and ruin to many as the secret structures of violence and oppression become powerful and uncontrolled.
The direct link to the video is here.