BE PREPARED NOT TO EXPERIENCE A TERRIBLE END – FATHER OSITA EZE
Today, the 33rd Sunday in ordinary time year C, is the last Sunday before Christ the King. The liturgical year is coming to an end and so, there is a need for checks and balances of the life we have lived so far.
In the first reading, prophet Malachi, a minor prophet reminds us of what the last day will look like. He spoke harshly to the people of Israel. He talks about the end time, urging us to be prepared for it will come when we do not know. This is the day those who have done well will be welcomed into the kingdom of God while those who are evildoers and are unwilling to repent will experience eternal damnation. The prophet talks about the horrors of hell, reminding us that those who keep living in sin will suffer eternal damnation. This does not mean that the prophet condemns the little effort that we make but rather, urges us, draws us to consciousness, and to realise the urgent need to repent. The question is, on that day, will you be weeping or rejoicing?
The prophet also adds that for those who have done well, righteous and heavenly blessings will be theirs and for those who have not done well, the gate of hell will be theirs. The question is: Where do you want to be? Do you want to experience God’s blessings or do you want to experience eternal damnation where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth?
Our second reading draws us to an important thing. This is, if we do not work, we should not eat. Many of us have decided to become lazy and beg rather than work hard. Many use the excuse of being in Church praying rather than working. Prayer is good but even God does not encourage laziness. Those who are lazy expect to be given always. When you do not give them, they will insult you and call you names. Generosity is good but in our generosity, we must he wise.
In our gospel reading, Christ and the Jews engaged themselves in dialogue. Jesus took his time to tell them about the temple that would be destroyed. The Jews could not understand how a monument such as a temple that took years to build, be destroyed. The Jews did not see what he was trying to explain. They could not see beyond the physical structure of the temple. The scripture says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is this temple that Christ talks about. The question is, before the destruction of the temple, are you prepared? Let us repent and be converted from those things that we do that is not right. Everything in life must end. What will become of us?
Christ reminds us to take heed and never be deceived by those who claim to be God. Many false prophets and men of God have deceived many with fake miracles. Christ encourages us not to be discouraged but to hold on to the end. For it is only when we hold on to the end that we will gain eternal reward. Death must surely come but let us be prepared. We must never be discouraged but have faith and trust in God. And may he grant us joy, happiness, peace of mind and courage to face our situations through Christ Our Lord Amen.