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Thursday, November 25, 2010

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St. Catherine of Alexandria

Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
Psalm 100:1-5
Luke 21:20-28

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the end is near!

"Babylon the great city shall be cast down." —Revelation 18:21

The book of Revelation was written near the end of the first century. Its message gave consolation and encouragement to Christians suffering terrible persecution from Roman emperors. In today's first reading, an angel from heaven announces the fall of Rome. God encouraged His first century Christians by telling them there will be an end to injustice, wickedness, and persecution (Rv 18:20). If you are trapped in an oppressive situation, the announcement of the end of your plight is sweet news indeed.

Maybe you are so trapped in sin, addiction, a difficult marriage, spiraling financial woes, raising a wayward child, social injustice, or a dead-end job that you can't see the light at the end of your tunnel. Perhaps you don't even know there is an end to the tunnel. When there's no end in sight, it might be that the end is near. Because the one "who holds out to the end" will be saved (Mt 24:13), Satan certainly wants us to believe that there is no end. If he can tempt us into believing our situation is beyond hope and without end, he knows we can more readily fall into despair and abandon God.

Jesus can change any situation "in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor 15:52). He is our Hope. In fact, Jesus is "the End" (Rv 22:13), and "the End" is near, "with [us] always, until the end" (Mt 28:20). Therefore, never give up hope. "Those who hope in [the Lord] shall never be disappointed" (Is 49:23).

Prayer:  Father, on this Thanksgiving Day in the USA, "I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with all my heart" (Ps 138:1) for inviting me to Your heavenly feast (Rv 19:9).

Promise:  "Know that the Lord is God; He made us, His we are; His people, the flock He tends." —Ps 100:3

Praise:  Wise beyond her young years, St. Catherine, patroness of Christian philosophers, was blessed with a martyr's death.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010

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