Readings for Today
We have come to the end of the year. This morning’s Mass is the last one before we begin the season of Advent with the anticipated Sunday Mass this evening. And the readings today provide a perfect transition between the end of one liturgical year and the beginning of another. Interestingly, they are the same. At the end of the reading from Revelation, we are reminded that the coming of Jesus is soon. The gospel tells us to be vigilant, to be watchful.
In education, teachers are taught the beginning and the end are important. It is important to being the class right. It is important to end the class right. The same is true for a unit, and for the school year. In fact, good beginnings and endings are important in many instances. We are told, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” We are also told, “All’s well that ends well.” In many instances, when we start and end well, the stuff in between kind of takes care of itself.
What does this mean for our faith? Well, it seems to me, if we are watchful at the beginning of the liturgical year and are still watchful at the end of the liturgical year, then the time in between probably will be that way too. If we can find ourselves open to being watchful, to being ready, to preparing our hearts for all that God longs to do for us, then indeed we can be ready for something new.
At the end of something, we can also find ourselves ready to reflect on what has been. We think of a year gone past in both good terms and bad terms. We can be grateful for accomplishments and we can regret failures. Finishing a new sports season, completing a job, coming to the end of a project; these are all times where we can become reflective.