Mk. 13: 24-32
Jesus tells us the day is coming when heaven and earth will pass away but no one knows the day or the hour; not the angels not the Son but only the Father. I am not sure we think much about the end of the world since it has been in existence for tens of thousands of years and civilization as we know it is a few thousand years old. Yet the end of the world is a reality, but life goes on just as it has for generations. So, do we even need to think about the end time and is it relevant to our spiritual life today.
If we consider ourselves Christians, then the prophetic books and Jesus’ own words should never be overlooked as not pertaining to our life today. Daniel was given a vision and that vision of a time of great distress; it is the time of the final battle before the end of the world. This battle is between the heavenly forces and the forces of the evil making its push to rule the world.
However, like all battles this one will be the final push and before that there are many battles to be fought within the world and with the Kingdom of God in which we live today. This enemy is ours and it goes on daily. We have seen the face of that evil during our lifetime in the 1900’s and 2000’s. We have lived through two world wars, the Korean war, Vietnam, Gulf war and a war on terror. We have seen the face of evil in Edie Amin the butcher of Uganda, Pol Pot and the killing fields of Cambodia, Adolph Hitler and his final solution, and we could go on with those still killing thousands in the Middle East, Africa, Korea and in South America.
We have seen Chaldean Christians killed by Muslim extremists. We have our own version of persecution today in America by law suits filed against any display of Christian belief in our schools, communities and parks. The movie about the abortionist Gosnell gives us an inside look at another battle conducted by this deceitful enemy’s tactic of whitewashing the reality of abortion.
Make no mistake about the battle we are currently fighting is against this enemy of us, God’s people. It is ongoing, and Jesus’ words remind us Satan is a liar who uses the tactic of deceit covered up by lies. His deceit is effective and often is hard to discover for it comes with words that divert our attention. The horror of Gosnell’s method to terminate pregnancies was the fact of how he did it outside the womb. Yet, it is the identical method used by abortion facilities as they terminated pregnancies inside the womb. Evil is rampant in our midst and we have become too complacent and evil loves complacency. Evil is on the march and must be confronted by the one thing evil hates and that is the truth of the gospel.
We must in our parishes, our dioceses and our countries accept the fact we are called to be witnesses of God’s mercy, his love and his forgiveness. We must be witnesses allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and empowering us to answer the call to become disciples.
Disciples, not just faithful Catholics who are comfortable with living in our own little bubble of safety. We are not safe when evil on the march. We need to step out of the boat and walk on water; we are not safe if we are not responding to the call of being witnesses of the transforming power of God to provide all we are seeking to be happy. We must accept the challenge to feed the hunger of those seeking something in their lives by feeding them ourselves as Jesus challenged the disciples to do. Our problem is just like theirs we do not believe we have anything how can we feed anyone.
We have the army of God with us and we have the power of an Almighty God available to us if we only believe. Paul in the second reading today reminds us this final battle of Jesus will not begin until his enemies are placed under his feet. So, in the meantime we are called to be the ones to fight against this enemy of God’s people. We must shine the light on the evil that exist destroying God’s people. Destroying them physically as we see in the Christian persecution and destroying their hope, numbing their minds to the danger they are in by entering evils lair.
We need to awaken to the demand of God to let our light shine and to stop hiding it under the bushel basket. We can shine the light on the subtle message of television, music and movies portraying attitudes about sex, drugs, relationships and materialism as normal.
Our moral fabric is being destroyed by an anything goes mentality. That mindset tells us “If it feels good it must be good” and therefore never denied. Since Christianity has an opposite view about them being good or normal then Christians must be silenced. The Gosnell movie was a good example of the magnitude of the forces that attempted to keep it from being made much less reaching a movie theater. I do not have to list how the battle for sexual freedom has been waged in our public institutions and is now being pushed down to elementary school levels.
Evil is winning this battle daily without us even knowing the battle is ongoing and how pervasive it is. Today’s gospel about end of the world is a reality we teach and believe. Yet, there is a battle going on today for the souls of God’s people that we are not even aware of how it has destroyed lives and families. It is exactly why Paul reminds us we are battling powers and principalities and must depend on God for the victory. If we call ourselves Christian, we must know the call of the Christian is into the army of God. Time to gird yourself with the gospel of truth, the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation shield of faith and put on the breastplate of righteousness so we can stand firm against this enemy. In other words, clothe yourselves in Christ and do not worry about this battle or the battle at the end of time.