Glory be!

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We’re nudging up towards the end of the Church year – just a few weeks away!

Our readings today talk about the end times:

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.
“But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”
— Daniel 12:2-3

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We are filled with joy

In today’s psalm, we sing:

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy!

It’s quite easy for me to lose my optimism and hope, but we have an advantage: We know that God’s goodness prevails in the end!

The hard thing about this is that my choices still matter, in saving my own soul and the souls around me. Although we are confident that God and the entire cohort of heaven will defeat Satan in the end, I don’t know that I will be one of that cohort.

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Lead us not into temptation

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When I was five years old, I went camping with my family and our cousins. We were close to a stream, so my uncle Fred placed a large stick on the bank with firm instructions not to cross it lest we fall in.

I was five, so I crossed the stick. And fell into the rushing water.

Obviously, I survived the incident, because my uncle was able to run down the valley and pull me out before I drowned.

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Defend us in battle

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Today’s second reading conveys a powerful image:

Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.

As we near the end of our Church year, we’re looking more and more at the four final things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.

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Most watchful guardian

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In 1889, Pope Leo XIII asked all the faithful to add the Prayer to St. Joseph to the end of our Rosary during the month of October.

Our holy Mother Mary is the paragon of human holiness, of course, and worthy of our eternal devotion. But I have to confess that her spouse, Joseph, is easier for me to relate to.

It’s partially because he seems to just be a quiet guy doing the best he can in the background.

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