Do you believe in the end of the world?
Did you know that people, in general, used to have a paranoid fear about it?
They expected it in A.D. 204, 999 and 2000.
In A.D. 204, Hippolytus, a Christian writer in Rome, recorded that a Bishop was convinced that the Lord was going to return immediately. He urged his followers to sell all of their land and possessions and to follow him into the wilderness to await the Lord’s coming.
At the end of the first millennium, anticipation of the Second Coming ran high. On the last day of 999, the basilica of St. Peter’s at Rome was filled with people who were weeping and trembling waiting for the world to end.
It was in 1978 that the media flashed the shocking news of the mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana of 914 American men and women, members of a doomsday cult, The Peoples Temple, at the instruction of their paranoid leader Rev. Warren (Jim) Jones.
In 1988, Rev. Colin Deal published a book titled Christ Returns by 1988 – 101 Reasons Why.
In the same year, Edgar Whisenant, a NASA engineer used his mathematical skills to set a date for the return of Jesus. He wrote a book called, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Take Place in 1988. Another very popular book, published in 1989, was 89 Reasons Why the World will End in 1989.
This is how modern man reacts to the coming end of the world.
Today’s readings in the Holy Mass remind us that along with our special spiritual preparation for Christmas, we should be prepared and ready to meet Jesus at all times, whether at the end of our lives or the end of the world, whichever comes first.
Here is my A Dose of Ramedy today:
Be alert. How is your personal relationship with Jesus now? Are you still worried of so many uncertainties in life?
As we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent may we be reminded of its life messages inspired by Fr. Antony Kadavil:
1) An Advent project of being alert and watchful in the spirit of today’s Gospel. Every morning when we get up, let us pray, “Lord, show me someone today with whom I may share your love, mercy and forgiveness.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Whatever you do in your family, for your children, for your husband, for your wife, you do for Jesus.” Every night when we go to bed, let us ask ourselves, “Where have I found Christ today?” The answer will be God’s Advent gift to us that day. By being alert and watchful we will receive an extra gift: Christ himself. Let us remember the saying of St. Thomas Aquinas: “Without God, I can’t. Without me, He won’t.”
2) Being wakeful and watchful: We are so future-oriented that we often forget the present entirely. We spend too much time trying to protect ourselves against future misfortunes. We save for a rainy day, to get married, to buy a home, to send the children to college, to retire in comfort and to protect ourselves against future misfortunes. But we need to be more spiritually wakeful and prepare for our eternal life because we can die any day, and that is the end of the world for us. Let this Advent season be the time of such a preparation for us.
3: “Maran atha” (Rev. 22:20) is an Aramaic (Syriac) expression that means: “Come, Lord Jesus.” It was used as a greeting in the early Church. When believers gathered or parted, they didn’t say hello or goodbye, but “Maran atha,” acknowledging Jesus’ presence in each of them. If we have the same spiritual outlook today, it would revolutionize the Church and the lives of its members during this advent season. May God bless us and keep us ever prepared for Christ’s second coming, while preparing for the yearly celebration of his first coming (Christmas), by repenting on our sins and renewing our lives.
Have a blessed Advent season!