XXXIII [B]DN:12:1-3; HEB:10:11-14,18;MK13:24-32
Some so called prophets are predicting the end of the word these days basing their prediction on the ancient Mayan long-count calendar. This is a calendar which correctly predicted an astonishing number of other astrological and mathematical events. Unfortunately for the Mayans, even the best math couldn’t factor in and figure out some highly unexpected variables – like their own demise. This ancient and powerful Mayan culture didn’t foresee the arrival and ultimate invasion of a bunch of Spanish soldiers of fortune — soldiers bearing weapons the Mayans had never seen and bringing diseases their bodies had never encountered. The advanced Mayan technology that had carefully calculated “the end of the world” on 21 December 2012, was unable to perceive that “the end of THEIR world” was only a few decades away.
History teaches us that when times are bad, eschatology thrives. But when times are good, apocalyptic talk subsides. More than ever before, now, with all the horrors of war, uprisings in several Islamic countries, now war waging between
and the Hamas Muslims,
terrorism from Al-Qaida, and sins against the dignity of human life, we almost
think the end times are near. Israel
Even though there have been several predictions of the end of the world, the world still stands. Because the world is not an automatic mechanism which runs by itself. It is created and controlled by the will of a powerful God. Therefore as Jesus tells in today’s gospel nobody knows the end except the Father. Those who make predictions will turn out to be fools in the end.
William Barclay wrote in his book The Mind of St. Paul, “The great value of the doctrine of the Second Coming is that it guarantees that history is going somewhere. We cannot tell how it will happen. We cannot take as literal truth the Jewish pictures of it which Paul used. We need not think of a physical coming of Christ in the clouds, or a physical trumpet blast. But what the doctrine of the Second Coming conserves is the tremendous fact that there is one divine, far-off event to which the whole creation is moving; there is a consummation; there is a final triumph of God.”
Exactly when that will happen at the end is shrouded in mystery, no one but the Father knows. What Jesus wants to make sure his Apostles understand is that it will occur, and he wants them to be ready for it at all times. He actually finishes the discourse by saying: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” We do not know, because we do not need to know.
We profess our belief in these truths every Sunday, when we say “he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his Kingdom will have no end.” Jesus doesn’t speak about these events in order to scare us, but in order to motivate us. Telling us about it gives us a chance to organize our lives accordingly, to build our lives on the everlasting rock of Christ our Savior:
But such ignorance should not immobilize us or leave us complacent and postpone things indefinitely for the future.
A mother was taking her little kindergartner to bed and as they were approaching bed the girl asked her mom:
Mommy if the world ended right now, would I have to take my library book back, or would it be okay to leave it home ?
The thought of the end times should prompt us to do our daily spiritual exercises dutifully rather than postponing them.
It is so easy to fall into a purely natural outlook on life, getting so wrapped up in our daily to-do lists that we forget the big picture, and we neglect our friendship with Christ.
Let us recognize the “second coming” of Jesus in our daily lives through everyday occurrences, always remembering that Jesus comes without warning. But let us not get frightened at the thought of Christ’s Second Coming because he is with us every day in the Holy Eucharist, in the Holy Bible and in our worshipping communities. We will be able to welcome him in his Second Coming as long as we faithfully do the will of God daily by serving our brothers and sisters, recognizing Christ’s presence in them, and by being reconciled with God and with our brothers and sisters every day.
Today, let us ask the Lord to give us the grace of sight, so that we will be able to relate every event of our lives with His light and make ourselves ready for his second coming.