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Generation that Will Not Pass

First Reading: Revelation 20:1-4, 11—21:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,
holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.
He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,
which is the Devil or Satan,
and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,
which he locked over it and sealed,
so that it could no longer lead the nations astray
until the thousand years are completed.
After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,
and who had not worshiped the beast or its image
nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.
They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A

R. (Rev. 21:3b) Here God lives among his people.
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. Here God lives among his people.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. Here God lives among his people.
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. Here God lives among his people.

Gospel: Luke 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”

NAB

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My heart ached as I sat in our church and tried to leave my worries and cares at the foot of the cross. Thoughts about my family’s physical and spiritual needs, thoughts of the battle for my children’s souls, thoughts of the people in Aleppo, Syria and other war-torn areas, thoughts of Christians dying for their faith plague my mind. Oh, Lord, what is this world coming to?! I even succumb to fear for my children’s generation.

In the Gospel Jesus explains that “this generation will not pass away until all of these things have taken place”. One traditional interpretation of “this generation” is that it refers to all of the of believers in Christ, and that the things that will happen will happen at the end of time. The people who believe that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead, the people who turn to Christ as their Savior—we are the generation that will not pass away. Our personal lives might end here on Earth, but we are part of the Communion of Saints, the Church Militant (here on Earth) and the Church Triumphant (in Heaven). God promises that eternal life is ours, when we love God and love our neighbor.

When I find myself troubled with struggles, doubts, and sorrows around me in this life, I will find consolation in the broader understanding of “this generation.” There is hope and strength in being part of the Communion of Saints, for we the Church Militant here on earth are supported in our struggles and efforts to love by the prayers of the Church Triumphant. We have the example and witness of the Saints to show us that holding on to Jesus’ words of love and life outlast the strife in this life.

Isn’t this hopeful? When the world around us seems to spin out of control, and Christians are persecuted and dying for the faith, the words ring out as a battle hymn and promise spoken again and again. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Those words? The promise of salvation, happiness, and joy eternal in the presence of God.

Meditate on the words of the Our Father, Jesus’ promise of salvation, and find hope in being part of the Communion of Saints.

Gina Fensterer is a wife, daughter, mother, friend, homeschooling mama and Colorado native. You can find out more about her here.

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