End of the World
Jesus said to them,”There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Luke 21:5-19
33rd SUNDAY Ordinary Time Cycle C
Remember the movie “2012”? It told the story of the world as it experiences a sequence of eschatological events including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mega tsunamis and a global flood. You might ask why the title “2012”. Well, there was this belief that the Mayan Long Count calendar by calculation would end around 21 December 2012 and would be preceded by cataclysmic events. The world however did not end in 2012.
Many end-of-the-world movies like this have been made. Most have been blockbusters. In spite of the fact that they were frightening, they nonetheless piqued the interest of people. But not only the media even religion takes interest in eschatology.
As the end of the liturgical year approaches, the mass readings once more talk about the end of time. The first reading describes the end as blazing like an oven. However, the prophet Malachi wrote that if people fear the Lord, then it comes instead as a sun with healing rays bringing forth justice to all. Mal 3:19-20a
“Kahadloki ang Dios! Higugmaa ang Ginoo!” In1990 people spread this message across the Philippines, painting it on many walls. It was the year of disaster. During a July afternoon a 7.7 earthquake rocked Baguio City. In November super typhoon Rufing ravaged Cebu at night – much stronger than Yolanda that would come 23 years later. The year 1991 continued to wreak havoc for in June Mt. Pinatubo erupted at Zambales and in November flash floods killed 5,000 people in Ormoc. The people out of fear turned to pray. The Christmas dawn masses that year were full all throughout the nine days.
It is good to pray but the gospel clearly tells not to be afraid as long as we do what is right. Jesus forbade us from asking when or where or how the end will happen. Rather He told us to persevere in His name. Similarly St. Paul told Christians in Thessalonica to work orderly and quietly in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thes 3:7-12
Pope Francis says if we live like this with hope then that would be one of the surest signs that the Kingdom of God has really come.
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