We’re approaching the end of the liturgical year. In the tradition of our Jewish brothers and sisters our scripture readings depict the end of the world. The passage from the prophet Daniel sets the stage. In a time unsurpassed in stress, Michael will appear to cleanse the world of evil and darkness, and call the dead to rise for the final judgment.
In the gospel Jesus continues the scenario. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory, and then he will send out his angels and gather the elect from the four winds.”
The Judeo-Christian tradition of “remembering” the end of the world, and the judgment of humankind at the end of the liturgical year, always chills our hearts. We look out on the world that our careless and selfish ways have ravaged: forests stripped bare, the air and the seas polluted.
We look around at the violent world we live in: an unjust world, a world of lies and deception. We see the emaciated Yemeni children too hungry to cry. We see eleven Jews mowed down during their morning prayer. We see a black man and women randomly shot dead in a grocery store. We see women and children abused at work, at 2 school, in the church.
With broken hearts we look up to the sky hoping to see the Son of Man coming to purify this world of ours of violence and selfishness. We long to see evil judged and conquered. We hope to see the sun rise on a new world.
Father, we hold out our hands to you in supplication and offering. We offer you our hurting and wounded world. We long for peace but make war instead. We negotiate stability but feed mistrust. We choke with anger. We kill because we are afraid.
We offer the sky, and the sea, the earth and every person. Reach out your motherly hands to us. Wipe away fear and mistrust, revenge and more revenge. Direct your brilliant light to each of our hearts. Heal our eyes so that we can once again see the beauty of the human person. Heal our ears so that we can once again hear each other speak. Heal our lips so that we can speak words of peace. Heal our hands that we may take up the task of caring for your world.
Father, mother, sister, brother, Lord and God we are about to close the door on a year past. Direct us that we might open the new door of peace and truth, the door of love and light, the door of hope and joy. And it is so– Amen