It might sound a bit frightening, but Pope Francis on November 27, 2018, said that thinking about the end of our lives and the end of the world is a “grace”. His comment came in his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
Taking his cue from the first reading of the day – the 14th chapter of Revelation – the Holy Father recommended a frequent examination of conscience.
I, John, looked and there was a white cloud,
and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man,
with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
Another angel came out of the temple,
crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud,
“Use your sickle and reap the harvest,
for the time to reap has come,
because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.”
So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth,
and the earth was harvested.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven
who also had a sharp sickle.
Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire,
and cried out in a loud voice
to the one who had the sharp sickle,
“Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines,
for its grapes are ripe.”
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage.
He threw it into the great winepress of God’s fury.
With that, we can prepare for our final meeting with God to be a “joyful” moment. And we can make needed corrections in the path of our lives.
“At the harvest, each of us will meet the Lord…each will say to the Lord: ‘This is my life…. This is the quality of my life’,” the Pope reminded. “Thinking about the end, about the end of the world, about the end of one’s own life, is wise. Wise people do this. What would I like to fix because it doesn’t work? What would I like to sustain or develop because it’s good….”