Newsletter for Sunday 17 November 2019

27 Nov

The End Times

Every Sunday when we recite the Creed we say, “He (JESUS) will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His Kingdom will have no end.”  This will be at the end of the world.  Our Lord will return and judge every human being who has ever lived and He will divide the sheep from the goats where the just will receive their everlasting reward and the wicked everlasting punishment (Matt.25:32-34).

In today’s Gospel, Our Lord prophesizes the Destruction of Jerusalem including the Temple.  This did actually happen in 70 AD when the Romans besieged the city and burned it to the ground and tore down the Temple as well as massacring hundreds of thousands of Jews. For the Jews, this was like the end of the world as the Temple was a microcosm for the whole universe.  And Our Lord also prophesizes the trials and persecutions which the Apostles would indeed suffer, and some were even put to death.  But in the midst of all this He says, “Don’t be afraid.  Don’t be led astray, because this is the time for you to bear witness or to give testimony.”

Could it be that with all the evil and immorality in the world today and the confusion and scandals and apostasy from the truth in the Church, even from the highest levels, that we are near the Second Coming?  I don’t know the answer to that.  But the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us,

“Before Christ’s Second Coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.  The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth” (#675).

This teaching is drawn from Our Lord’s teachings.  And so we must be ready and prepared for suffering and persecution when we remain faithful to JESUS.  In every period of the Church’s history this has been the case.  There are countless martyrs who died because they refused to bow down to pagan idols and refused to compromise on Our Lord’s teaching.  So be faithful to what the Church has always taught because then you are being faithful to Him. When things get tough, when people mock you, when governments pressurize you, stand firm.  By your perseverance you will find eternal life.

Fr Paul Gillham, IC

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