Dn 12:1-3
Heb 10:11-14, 18
Mk 13:24-32

This Little Light of Mine
This week’s readings are full of the end times’ readings we get at this time in the church year. I was aware as I listened to them at the liturgy today, that I encounter “end time” or “what may happen messages” in all facets of my daily life, they are everywhere. Here are some that have happened in just the last seven days.

I was at a talk this week and the speaker said we have, according to scientist, about ten years to turn around the patterns which we have toward the earth, if we hope to change the progression of global warming and the extinction of a variety of species. The speaker said, we must choose what we hope for our future by beginning today. I left the talk a bit undone and thinking what are the choices that I am willing to make to turn these predictions around?

In Weight Watchers this past week, we talked about the kickoff of the holiday season. We addressed issues of food that can swallow us up during the upcoming season of overeating and gluttony. What food choices will I make in the coming weeks ahead to avoid my pattern of overeating?

There are politicians who have told us that we must fight terror, it is a war that surrounds us and if we don’t respond to it, “they” will overcome us. During this past election many said if we voted a certain direction, we were voting for the terrorists. I certainly don’t want terrorists, how am I called to vote to address this issue?

The scenarios of things that could go from bad to worse or from bad to better are all around us these days. In the first reading and gospel from November the 19th readings, are full of predictions and things to look out for. Here are a few excerpts from today’s first reading from the book of Daniel and from the Gospel of Mark.

Dn. 12:1-3
In those days, I Daniel, heard this word of the Lord:
“At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince,
guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape,
everyone who is found written in the book.”

Mk. 13:24-32
Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation
the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.”

Sometimes I don’t want to hear the news, as it seems to describe in the words of Daniel, “a time unsurpassed in distress.” And I wonder at times how much tribulation has to be happening for us to tip over into end times.

I am amazed at how little energy it takes to move into that place of fear and what it takes to draw from both the Hebrew scripture and the New Testament from the well of hope! At the end of the gospel, Jesus invites us to be awake and engaged in building the kingdom of heaven, for we do not know the time or day.

What we do have is the choice of how we stay awake. Each day, the choice is ours. From what source shall we draw our inspiration for today’s actions? Will we be awake and choosing from fears of “what if” or from the “hope of what is possible”?

In the midst of our liturgy today, a four year old boy was baptized. At the time of his baptism with the help of his Dad he lowered his head over the baptismal bowl and Father Bob poured over the blessed water. Later when his Godparents were given the baptismal candle newly lit from the Easter Pascal candle, the little boy reached for the lit candle; after the candle was blown out his Godfather handed him the candle.

Once the candle was in his hands, the little boy reached back toward the Pascal Candle to light it, but to his dismay he wasn’t able to get it light. After that he leaned forward in his father’s arms and sought to douse the candle in the baptismal waters. Even at a distance I could see as did others that this newly baptized Christian reached out for more…granted it may have been the excitement of playing with a light or water doused candle, after all he was only four.

Yet what if my choices this week were based on the fire of God’s love for us and the grace of forgiveness? God calls each of us beyond ourselves to moments of healing and reconciliation? It is our choice, to choose what drives our responses to everyday life, fear of others or love for others.