When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.
When I watch scary or suspenseful movies I always end up with my hands in front of my face. That barrier of ten fingers somehow gives me a little bit of strength. That's sorta how I read today's mass readings. Yikes. The first reading has angels with sharp sickles and fire. And in the gospel Jesus speaks of famine, earthquakes and plagues. But he also shares the words in verse 9. Do not be terrified.
This is really what the season of Advent is about. We rejoice in the birth of Jesus and prepare, with hope, for his second coming by reflecting and then acting upon his message. When we finally meet Jesus face-to-face, what do you want him to see you doing with your hands? Serving, loving and welcoming or holding them up in front of your face hiding in fear? Don't be afraid. Love drives out fear, so get to loving.