The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
“Children, it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18). What a fitting verse to begin our mass readings with today, on New Year’s Eve! It is not that the Church intended it: this is the reading used every year on the first Thursday after Christmas. It is a shallow truth that “children, it is the last hour,” in the sense that today happens to be the last day of the year of our Lord two thousand and fifteen, but, consider:
No matter which calendar you use, Gregorian or Chinese or Hebrew, etc., New Year’s Eve brings with it a feeling of climax or completion or ending. We want to end the year in a fitting way, and begin a new year a good note. For many people, this means a celebration of some sort, and if not that, then a feeling of loneliness, or perhaps both. New Year’s Eve is about an ending and a beginning.
Christianity is also about an ending and a beginning. “Children, it is the last hour.” Our time in this world is ending, and our time in the next world is beginning. St. Paul says as much in 1 Corinthians 7: “I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away.”
It’s no good lulling ourselves into a false sense of security and comfort, because we have had an experience of stability here on this Earth. Better to be vigilant, to wait for Christ to act, and to seek security and comfort in Him. He is the first and the last, the Α and the Ω, the beginning and the end, and He will come again soon. But, when He comes, “will he find faith on Earth?”