Since this weekend in the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time already, and we are coming to the end of the liturgical year, I'm sitting here this morning trying to write a homily on the end of the world. For whatever reason, it seems to be a difficult birth so far.
The trick is to hold the two senses of "end" together at the same time. The end of the world is both the terminal point of history and temporal progression, but is also the goal of human life and history.
The same is true of our personal end in death. It is the terminal point of what we have come to think of as ourselves, our life in time and in this world. But our death is also the goal to which we look forward, in which all of our love and goodness and effort for each other's sakes and for the sake of the Lord are summed up and made unrevisable and indestructible.
After all, as Francis approached the end of his life at the ripe old age of 44 or 45, he invited in the presence of "sister death."