It makes us happy when we reach the end. Whether it is a movie, or a book, or a long travel, or a problematic situation, when it ends, we rejoice.

But there is one “end” that makes people, even devout Christians, afraid – the end of the world. In the spiritual sphere, many self-styled prophets pretend to know how to predict the end. The gospel today shows how far away from Jesus’ idea of the end the usual proofs we hear about the end of the world.

Preachers will come in my name, the Lord Jesus tells us. But it is not the end. There will be wars and destructions. But the Lord assures us, this too is not the end. There will be a string of calamities around the globe. Again, not the end of the world. There will be sufferings and tribulations in the lives of many, but Jesus does not give teachings on the endtimes, but rather encouragement to perseverance and patience.

In the time of St. Paul many people did nothing but think of and discuss the end of the world. They did nothing else. St. Paul however, invited these people just to continue silently and patiently working, so that their lives will be profitable. Only the Lord knows the details of the end. Our duty is to make our present life a fertile ground for the Kingdom of God.

Are you afraid of the end of the world? Or the end of your life? Or the end of your dreams?  The readings today invite us not to be afraid, and not to be unduly preoccupied with matters beyond our control. Rather, Jesus invites us to trust him and be like Paul, a model for believers in honest and patient daily labor for the Kingdom. 

Jesus ushered the beginning, when he inaugurated the Kingdom. The end is in the hands of God in a future unknown to us. Our responsibility is not to tend to the beginning or the end, but to work in the “middle”, in the present, the now of our lives.