THE END TIMES – 14
December 31, 2013
Today’s readings: 1 Jn 2:18-21; Ps 96:1-13; Jn 1:1-18
It is the last day of the year. It is the last days. “Children, it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18a).
Jesus told us to read the signs of the times. He described the last days. What he said would happen is happening. John, given a vision of the end times, wrote the book of Revelation and spoke of the beast, the antichrist. But before his coming, there would be other “minor” antichrists. “And just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared.” (1 Jn 2:18b). There are many false prophets. There are powerful cult leaders. There are apostate teachers, including bishops and many clerics. There are billionaire philanthropists committing their billions to depopulation. There is Obama, the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, pushing and imposing reproductive health, abortion and the gay agenda on the nations of the world. “Thus we know this is the last hour.” (1 Jn 2:18c).
What are we to do? Certainly not just party, count down to midnight, set off fireworks and get drunk. The devil wants us to get so wrapped up in our worldly pleasures and festivities that we neglect to prepare for the second coming of the Lord.
What then are we to do? First, know that the times are urgent because we are in the end times. The day is almost done. The race is almost over. These are most precious times, not to be wasted on unnecessary things.
Second, we must know Jesus more deeply and make him known to others. They need to meet Christ in order to be able to live for and in him. Jesus is the Word, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:1-5). Jesus was there at the beginning, and will be there at the end, as he is the Alpha and the Omega. We are nothing without him. We live because of him, and we will live forever because of him. He is the light that has conquered the sin and darkness of our lives. He is Savior and Lord.
So third, we need to share Christ. We are to “proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Ps 96:2b). We are to share Christ without let-up. Being an evangelizer becomes an integral part of our life. We need to share Christ, especially with lapsed Catholics, because many have not really met him, and many, by how they have chosen to live their lives, have rejected him. “He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.” (Jn 1:10-11). This is so tragic. People do not know that “to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” (Jn 1:12). So we are to try to reach as many as we can, indeed, the whole world. “Tell his glory among the nations, among all peoples, his marvelous deeds. (Ps 96:3). We are to “declare among the nations: The Lord is king.” (Ps 96:10a).
We follow in the footsteps of John the Baptist, who was privileged to prepare the way of the Lord. “A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.” (Jn 1:6). Now it is our turn. We are also sent from God. “But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one” (1 Jn 2:20a). We are also to testify to Jesus, to witness to him. Our goal is also that many more, if not all, might believe in Jesus.
The end of the year and the beginning of a new year is always a time of great celebration throughout the world. Fireworks. Countdown. Food and drinks. Partying. Yes, do enjoy this time. But be mindful of the deeper significance of our lives in Jesus. Be grateful for a year of blessings, including the trials. Rejoice in family and friends. Appreciate the privilege of serving God. Resolve to proclaim Christ even more vigorously in the new year.
Look forward to that great party in heaven, at the end of time. “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice …. before the Lord who comes” (Ps 96:11a,13a).
HAVE A BLESSED AND SPIRIT-FILLED NEW YEAR!
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God bless you all.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)