Readings for the Last Sunday of the Church Year

Mark 13:24-37; Jude 20-25; Isaiah 51:4-6

“Stay awake!” How hard it can be at the end of a long, exhausting day to keep those eyelids open and remain alert for the sake of completing one final task. Even as the world is telling us it’s okay to nod off for a while, Jesus urges us to stay spiritually awake as the day of his return draws closer (Mark 13). We usually have no trouble telling whether we’re awake or asleep in the physical sense. But what about spiritually? How can we tell if we have in fact been sleeping, and what would it look like to wake up?

There are many ways we might answer that question. But the readings for Sunday give us a good start. Recognize the fleeting nature of all that is earthly, and let this be reflected in your priorities. Be realistic in your expectations for righteousness and justice this side of heaven, and pin your hopes on what God will do on the Last Day (Is 51). Stay focused on the life you’re living now, and “keep yourself in the love of God” (Jude 21). Keep in mind, as St. Augustine points out, that your last day on earth may come even sooner than you think. And most all of, remember to thank God, that while “change and decay in all around I see”, you have a Savior who always abides with you. And His salvation is forever.