Day of Salvation
There seems to be a real fascination these days with the “End of the World.” Just about every week there is a television program sensationalizing ‘end of the world’ predictions and prophecies. Just yesterday I saw an advertisement for a new film centered on the year 2012 as the year that the end will come.
As Christians, we know our scriptures say many things about the end of the world. The readings for today all speak in some way about what it will be like. None of them say a word about when the end of the physical universe will happen, whether tomorrow or billions of years from now.
The focus of the Bible is on the Day of Salvation. In the Old Testament, this was expected to come on the last day of the physical universe. As Christians we believe something very different. For those who believe in Jesus Christ, we know that the Day of Salvation, or the Last Day has already come. The Day of the Lord will continue forever.
This is what Jesus is teaching in today’s Gospel. Speaking before his Death and Resurrection, he says that this generation will not end until the Last Day has taken place. This may be confusing to us, since we know what happened at the end of the earthly life of Jesus. The world continued on as before even though the Day of the Lord had dawned the morning of the Resurrection.
This is the Christian paradox: the End has already happened. A new heavens and a new world came into existence on the day of Christ’s resurrection. The gates of heaven were opened up to all who put their faith in Christ when he “descended into hell” to preach to the souls of the dead. A new world began and continues. To belong to the new world requires faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. This faith liberates us from the old world of sin and death and gives us membership in heaven.
So Christians do not worry about the “End of the World.” We know that it has already happened. We know also our great responsibility to share this Good News, so that all might believe in Christ.
Fr. Bradley Peterson, O. Carm.