A couple of days after the mass shooting on November 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, California, at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a student from our grade school asked me, Father, is the world coming to an end? I was dumbfounded and baffled that I asked her, what made you think so or ask such question? She responded, ‘I think God is punishing us and has abandoned the world because of our sins, that is why all these horrible things have befallen us. First was the floods in the Ventura area, then the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, then the fires destroying properties around us in the Ventura County area.’ I was dumbfounded and baffled because it came from a very little child but I responded saying, ‘no, I do not think the world is coming to an end, and no, God is not punishing us, but if that was the case, then, we all need to change our lives and work harder in our spiritual lives to be ready to go to heaven if the world was coming to an end.

My dear friends, today’s first reading and the gospel reading all sound very eschatological like the question of the little girl to me. The first reading from the book of Prophet Malachi (Mal 3:19-20a) tells us of the destiny of the proud and evildoers on the judgement day. Prophet Malachi also reminds us that no matter what happens, for those who fear the name of a God and live in His ways, there will arise the Sun of justice with its healing rays to protect and heal them. The gospel reading from gospel of Luke (Lk 21:5-19) gives us concrete examples of events and things that will happen on the last day, but reminds us that "by our perseverance, we will secure your lives." So how are you preparing yourself for the judgement day?

Jesus is the gospel reading gives us the best way to prepare ourselves for the judgement day or the end times stating “by your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Are we persevering in our spiritual lives and in our relationship with God? How are we living out our faith in God today? Are we truly and sincerely answering our call to discipleship by striving daily to coming closer to God, by hearing His voice calling us, by answering that call, by accepting His word and by living out His gospel? Are we working hard or are we hardly working in our spiritual lives and relationship with God?

My brothers and sisters, let us start preparing ourselves for the kingdom of heaven today because we do not know when our lives here would end or when the judgement day will be. But let us be encouraged by Jesus’s words to us today ‘by your perseverance, you will secure your lives,’ and continue to answer His call and live out His gospel. Amen!