October 27, 2022 –
Thursday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time
“Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil.”
Today is the last day on which we hear at weekday Mass from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Today’s passage comes from the last chapter of Ephesians. It’s a fitting passage to hear within this 30th week in Ordinary Time.
During the last weeks of the Church year—the 30th-34th weeks—the Church asks us to turn our attention to what she calls the “Last Things”. The four most important of the “Last Things” are Heaven and Hell, death and judgment.
A lot of people like to think, and lead their lives, believing that only one of these four things even exists. Of course there is a Heaven: Heaven is the place where everyone goes when they die: this is what some people believe. This is what some people teach. But this is not what Jesus taught.
Jesus taught that people, if they do not follow Him, will go not to Heaven, but to that other place, called Hell. In today’s First Reading St. Paul teaches us how seriously we need to prepare ourselves here on earth if we want to reach Heaven. The imagery he uses to describe our earthly battle against evil forces is military in nature. It’s a fitting conclusion to the Letter of St. Paul in which he describes at such length our need to love our neighbors within the Body of Christ.