The ISIS terrorists are determined to ride the pale horse of the apocalypse to its finish line—and to trample as many “infidels” as they can along the way. They intend to cross that line as victors, delivering eternal death without succumbing to it themselves. But the “crusaders,” as those infidels are called, are riding under the inspiration of their heavenly Father and his son—Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Death is their enemy, as Paul tells the Corinthians in this Sunday’s second reading, and it’s a sure bet that death will die at their finish line.
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death,” Paul writes. “When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.”
The evil ones betting on death are in for a surprise; the King of the Universe fixed this race in life’s favor and the pale horse will not win. The victors will be a herd of sheep, and as this flock races death to the finish, they will deliver life along the way—building strength in their growing numbers and enabling God to be all in all of them. And His son will be waiting at the finish line, welcoming them across.
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father,” Jesus says in Sunday’s gospel. “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. … for, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
That’s God being all in all. The sleek pale horse trying to trample his faithful flock will lose. God has been beckoning his sheep home from the beginning of the race, speaking through his announcers—the prophets.
“I myself will look after and tend my sheep,” Ezekiel writes for God in Sunday’s first reading; “I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy.”
That pale horse ISIS is betting on is destined for the glue factory.