Grace to you!
A lady was tormented by the fear of end times because she watched some videos about the end time prophecies. They stuck. The images wouldn’t go away. Fear. Anxiety. Nightmares. Twenty years later, she looks back and laughs at her fears. She has grown from fear to trust and confidence in the Lord in handling the future. Such a trust is crucial in our spiritual life.
End time prophecies can be scary for many, can’t they? The confusion surrounding the interpretation of the messages of end times heightens the tension. Previously, I proposed a disposition of trust in God about handling an uncertain future as a way to overcome the anxiety of the unknown. I wish to add to that reflection by suggesting anchoring in the Christ as another spiritual path to deal with end time predictions.
When I was a kid, I used to play soccer. I wasn’t a great player, but I enjoyed it anyway. At a time, when I was in elementary school, I used to be a goalie (goalkeeper). I learned from my coach that regarding penalty shootout or corner kicks, the goalie must keep an eye on the ball, not on the player.
The most effective goalies keep an eye on the ball. They may know about the players and their different styles of play. Nonetheless, when it comes to actual goalkeeping, they must follow the ball. There is wisdom in that coaching tactic.
Keeping an eye on the ball assures the goalie isn’t distracted by the crafty displays of the player to confuse the goalkeeper. Sneaky players would show deceptive body movements so as to trick the goalkeeper and shoot the ball in another direction.
The above analogy may be appropriate to the teachings of the Lord in Luke 21:5-11. The teaching concerns predictions about the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the end times. Though I had reflected on some perspectives about the text in the past, I would want to add the need for a secure anchor - or rather to keep an eye on the ball.
The Lord Jesus Christ gives us signs that may precede the end. The text of our consideration today Luke 21:9-10) has three of those: the reality of false prophets and the antichrist; heightened war and violence; and natural disasters of a shattering nature —“great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences” (vs.10).
Nevertheless, he warned against deceivers. I take that warning seriously.
If we were to apply the analogy I used above, I would be a tactful goalkeeper by keeping an eye on the ball. I should have an anchor I hold onto in such a way that nothing would take my gaze off the ball, or make me confused about the goal.
The Letter to the Hebrews writing about the object of our faith speaks about this anchorage: Keep an eye on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of our faith (see 12:2).
And the Lord Jesus encouraged the disciples, as he warns us not to be deceived: “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.” (Luke 21:8)
If Jesus Christ is with us, the storms and the signs (though terrible and unpredictable) would not affect our peace. Peace is assured. Christ is our peace.
I pray we keep holding onto Jesus Christ, the author and the finisher of our faith. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Today is the memorial of Saint Cecilia.
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.