Reflection & Dialogue: Looking towards the End; persevering to the end.

At the end of the liturgical year the Church in its liturgy invites us to reflect on end events and realities: the end of history and the coming of the Son of Man, the end of one’s personal life, the end of the triumph of evil over good and the coming of new heavens and a new earth, in which justice will prevail. There are references to all these in today’s readings. There is, however, another truth we are invited to reflect on in conjunction with these truths — that is the need for perseverance if our religion, our attachment to the person and work of Christ, is to survive the problems and boredoms of human and Christian existence. Luke’s presentation of Christ’s teaching makes this point: “Your endurance (through trials and persecutions) will win your lives”, just as he does at the end of the explanation of the parable of the sower and the seed (Luke 8:15). The perseverance in question is not something passive, of the “grin and bear it” type, but is part the faith that links us with God and with Christ. It is part of the mystery of salvation. God is saviour of all humanity and given free will there is no easy answer to many questions. God was with the human race from the beginning, from the big bang many trillions of years ago, if we so wish to put it. The Epistle to the Hebrews (chapter 20 and others) lays stress on the need for this perseverance. Chapters of this Epistle have been read on Sunday 19 to 22 this year. See these readings and the notes on them.

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