Grace to you!
We continue our reflection for this year’s Season of Advent. As I hinted yesterday, our general theme is on the right disposition toward the End Time prophesies as we await the Lord’s Coming. The style, as usual, is simple and non-professional, fitted for the target audience for whom these reflections are designed. Drawing from biblical truths read in the light of the Church’s understanding, it is a personal reflection for our spiritual nourishment.
A woman wrote me. Her tone was terrifying. I could sense a deep-seated fear. She received a private revelation from a so-called visioner, who specified how the world would come to an end soon. The so-called seer gave her details of events, time and places of the catastrophe, claiming these would occur in the woman’s lifetime.
From political conflicts, to environmental issues, to private prophesies, to persecution of Christians in many parts of the world, and moral problems in the world, many prophets of doom try to conclude that the astronomical events are here. They also claim we cause these events to happen. They give dates and times. Is this view consistent with biblical truths?
When the Lord spoke about the astronomical events (see Lk 21:25-28, for instance), he was sharing with us the plan the Father has set forth regarding the End of Time. It was about events leading up to the ultimate judgment. He was letting us know that he will surely come again, and there will be final victory over evil. The message is first about hope for the righteous, and about life shaped by the understanding that the world isn’t our eternal homeland. The world as we know it will surely come to an end.
Regarding the astronomical events, they are not to be determined by us humans. Human beings don’t have the power to bring about the astronomical events, the dramatic changes marking the End Time. Only God has the power to do so. Only God knows when and how. Bible teachings from Luke 21:25-28, Mt 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-27 are clear on this.
The Church reminds us that the trials and tribulations that would follow those moments, are a kind of Passover to purify us in view of the final victory of Good over evil. It is judgement of God. (To read more about the Church’s teaching on this, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church numbers 668-682).
It is God who is going to end all things. Humans can’t. To suppose we can do so is to take the place of God and carry on our shoulders the burden that would consume us. We don’t need to do that to ourselves. Just leave it to God. All the Lord asks is to live in the moment the way the Lord desires. Be at your duty post. Be ready. The best disposition is to live everyday as if it were your last. Make the best of the time. Be responsible. Believe.
Frankly, there are already many changes taking place in our time. Some of them are caused by us. Others are simply part of natural cycle. Nonetheless, the End Time message of Christ seems to suggest the very fact of the coming of the Son of Man, the Second coming of Christ, would affect the whole of creation—from the planetary bodies, the sun, the moon, to the seasons and the entire space. So, you know Scripture refers to these planetary bodies as “the array of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19). Such a cosmic phenomenon is way above what we humans could control or prevent. They are part of divine plan.
Just as the whole of creation is longing for the liberation of the sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:22), so, also, the whole planetary bodies will be impacted by the advent of the Lord (the Second Coming).
What I would suggest we take home from this is: God is in absolute control of the End Time, including the astronomical changes. Our disposition should be to hold on to the Lord. It is absolute trust and faith in Jesus. It is living in the moment, in grace, as the Lord has asked us to do. Fear not. Hope and trust in the Lord!
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Advent Week 1]