There is a song in the Lead Me, Guide Me Hymnal that proclaims: “Sign me up for the Christian jubilee, write my name on the roll. I’ve been changed since the Lord has lifted me, I want to be ready when Jesus comes.”
As Catholics, we believe that it is at the time of our Baptism that our name appears in the Book of Life in the Kingdom. It is at that time that we are “signed up” for the Christian Jubilee at the end of time. That is why in most Catholic Churches we recall our loved ones throughout the month of November. We take time to write their names again and again in a “Book of Remembrance,” or a “Book of Life.” On this 33rd Sunday in the order of time of our church we reflect upon the “end times.” For the early followers, majorly Jewish Christians, the letter to the Hebrews gives strength and hope. “Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But this one (Jesus) offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of
God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated” Hebrews 10:11-14. Those who are “consecrated” are the ones “set apart” or as it were “signed up” for a special task; a role in the Kingdom of God. In the prophetic book of Daniel there is a reference to the “end times” as we hear: “It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since the nation began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone whose name is found written in the book” Daniel 12:1. A sure sign of encouragement for those persecuted for the faith was the passage from the Gospel according to Mark. “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect (those consecrated/signed up) from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky” Mark 13:26-27. While we can understand the hope and encouragement these passages gave the early Christians who endured persecution, who would have thought that we’d need them again in our age. Not too long ago we heard and witnessed the systematic beheadings of the Egyptian followers of Jesus by the terrorist group Isis. They remained faithful. Through these passages may the Lord strengthen us to remain faithful to Jesus and His Gospel.