Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.


Sunday 17th November 2019
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Malachi 3: 19-20     2 Thessalonians 3: 7-12     Luke 21: 5-19

Rumours of Earthquakes.

From time to time we will read in the newspapers of some group or religious sect which is predicting the end of the world. They usually go out into the desert or climb up to the top of a mountain to await the consummation while the rest of the world is left to perish. Then, of course, when it doesn’t happen they have to find some excuse to explain it away in their favour.

There is nothing new in this. It has been happening since time immemorial and sadly sometimes people have even been duped into taking drastic action, even to the point of mass suicide. A particular attraction for such people is found in religious mathematics.

A few numbers, supposedly based on scripture, are multiplied or divided to provide the exact date of the Second Coming of Christ. A nice round figure like 2000 (which the Millennium provided) only serves to increase the number of fanatics who start their calculations and end up predicting signs from heaven of final gloom and doom.

Nobody knows when the world will come to an end and the purpose of God will be fulfilled, but rumours will always abound. Jesus himself warns us to be on our guard for those who will come announcing the end of the world because of natural disasters, wars or economic collapses. He says not to join them.

What is certain though is that the world will end. What is sure is that the things that many now highly prize will seem of very little importance when God’s plan reaches its perfection. For Christians this should not be a cause for fear. It should be what we actively hope for: that God’s kingdom should come in its fullness, that the power of God should finally be revealed in all its glory.

The end of the world should not frighten us. Not a hair of our heads will be lost. However, in the meantime, and as we approach the turning of the year, we will have to get used to a lot of rumours.




Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2019

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