Saturday of Souls
Today we hear of the alarming signs that will accompany the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We may also become alarmed when we hear of wars and rumours of war. Moreover, while people have been anxious about the end of the world since biblical times, recent scientific advances and environmental destruction have made the destruction of all life on our planet a very real possibility.
Yet Jesus Christ warns us that we should not be alarmed, nor allow ourselves to be taken in by false messiahs. For, while His Second Coming in glory is an awesome and terrifying event, it is ultimately also a joyful event. Saint Cyril of Alexandria writes:
He says that they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Christ will not come secretly or obscurely but as God and Lord in glory suitable for deity. He will transform all things for the better. He will renew creation and refashion the nature of people to what it was at the beginning. He said, ‘When these things come to pass, lift up your heads and look upward, for your redemption is near.’ The dead will rise. This earthly and infirm body will put off incorruption and will clothe itself with incorruption by Christ’s gift. He grants those that believe in Him to be conformed to the likeness of His glorious body.
We are called to be awake and ready for this coming. Indeed, our life on earth is given to us to prepare ourselves so that we may be ready to meet Him when He comes.
The Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 21:8-9,25-27,33-36:
The Lord said, “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once. And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.”