A common question of Christians throughout the ages is when? So, the question in today’s Gospel: “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” We want to know when the end, the final judgment, will come and what will be the signs to enable us to discern the end. Jesus gives no real answer to these questions about when the end will be and what will be the signs? Instead, Jesus warns us against being deceived: “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them!” Unfortunately, Christians throughout the century up until our own day have failed to heed Jesus’ warning. Even today we have Christians proclaiming that such and such a political leader is the chosen one of God. Jesus warns us not to be deceived and not to follow them!
We do not know when the end will come and when our final judgment will take place so we need to live each day as if it is the end. We are called to a personal encounter with Jesus today and not to wait until tomorrow. Like the first disciples we are invited to respond today to Jesus’ call to follow him: “And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him” (Mark 1:17-18).
Whenever the end and judgment comes, Jesus has already told us how we will be judged:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory…All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another…Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me’” (Matthew 25:31-36).
Image: “Shepherd and his flock” by Tobi NDH is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.