THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Memorial of St. Monica
Liturgical texts here
“STAY AWAKE!” Those are the opening words in today’s Gospel. “For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”
2000 years later, how can we understand these, and other related words in the Scriptures? The perennial interpretation common to the pulpit is that we should understand them as the “personal” coming of Christ at the end of our individual lives for our own “particular judgment.” And this interpretation is not only correct, but healthy and essential because we truly do not know the hour or day when we will stand naked before God and our eternal destiny will be settled. As it says in today’s Psalm:
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.
There is nothing morbid about meditating upon the frailty and brevity of one’s life. In fact, it is a readily available medicine to heal us when we become too worldly, too caught up in our plans, too absorbed in either our sufferings or joys.
And yet, we do harm to the Scriptures to omit the other meaning of this passage that is just as relevant.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thess 5:2-3)
In fact, brothers and sisters, when we take into account the events of the past four centuries since the Enlightenment; cf. A Woman and a Dragon when we consider the warnings of the popes in the past century; cf. Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting? when we heed the exhortations and admonishments of Our Lady; cf. The New Gideon and when we set all of this against the backdrop of the signs of the times, cf. Snow in Cairo? we would do well to “stay awake,” for events are coming upon our world that will take many by surprise “like a thief in the night.”
THE DAY OF THE LORD
One of the most difficult aspects of St. John Paul II’s call to us youth to be watchmen “at the dawn of the new millennium” cf. Novo Millennio Inuente, n.9 is to see not only the “new springtime” that is coming, but the winter that precedes it. Indeed, what John Paul II asked us to watch for was very, very specific:
Dear young people, it is up to you to be the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ! —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12)
Dawn… sunrise… these are all references to a “new day.” What is this new day? Again, taking all things into consideration, it would appear we are crossing the threshold into “the day of the Lord.” But you might ask, “Doesn’t the Day of the Lord inaugurate the “end of the world” and the Second Coming?” The answer is yes and no. For the Day of the Lord is not a 24 hour period. see Two More Days, Faustina and the Day of the Lord, and The Final Judgments As the early Church Fathers taught:
Behold, the Day of the Lord shall be a thousand years. —”Letter of Barnabas”, The Fathers of the Church, Ch. 15
With the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. (2 Pt 3:8)
That is, they saw this “new Day” as a profound new and final era of Christianity that would not only extend the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth, but be as it were a “sabbath rest” cf. How the Era was Lost for the People of God, understood symbolically as “a thousand year” reign (cf. Rev 20:1-4; see Millenarianism —What it is, and is Not). As St. Paul taught:
Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God. (Heb 4:9)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt 24:14)
THE SUDDEN PAINS
However, this Day, Jesus taught, would come about through “labor pains.”
You will hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labor pains. (Matt 24:6-8)
Brothers and sisters, the signs are all around us that these labor pains have already begun. But what exactly comes “like a thief in the night”? Jesus continues:
Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. (Matt 24:9-12)
Ultimately, it is the sudden persecution of the Church that catches many by surprise. They are like the five virgins whose lamps were not filled with oil, who had not prepared their hearts to go forth at midnight to meet the Bridegroom.
At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him! ’ (Matt 25:6)
Why midnight? That seems an odd time for a wedding! However, if you take all the Scriptures into consideration, we see that the Day of the Lord comes by way of the Cross. The Bride goes out to meet the Bridegroom along the Way—through the night of suffering that gives way to the dawn of a new Day.
…this day of ours, which is bounded by the rising and the setting of the sun, is a representation of that great day to which the circuit of a thousand years affixes its limits. —Lactantius, Fathers of the Church: The Divine Institutes, Book VII, Chapter 14, Catholic Encyclope
When he broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature cry out, “Come forward.” Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword. (Rev 6:3-4)
As the seals unfold—economic collapse and inflation (6:6), food shortages, disease, and civil chaos (6:8), violent persecution (6:9)—we see that these “labor pains” prepare the way, ultimately, for the darkest part of the night: the appearance of the “beast” who reigns for a very short, but intense and difficult time over the earth. The destruction of this antichrist is concomitant with the “rising of the sun of justice”.
St. Thomas and St. John Chrysostom explain the words quem Dominus Jesus destruet illustratione adventus sui (“whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the brightness of His coming”) in the sense that Christ will strike the Antichrist by dazzling him with a brightness that will be like an omen and sign of His Second Coming… The most authoritative view, and the one that appears to be most in harmony with Holy Scripture, is that, after the fall of the Antichrist, the Catholic Church will once again enter upon a period of prosperity and triumph. —The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, Fr. Charles Arminjon (1824-1885), p. 56-57; Sophia Institute Press
Again, it is not the end of the world, but the “end times”. For a full explanation, see my open letter to Pope Francis: Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!
THE PRESENT SIGNS CALL FOR PREPARATION
Brothers and sisters, I have felt compelled from the very beginning of this writing apostolate some ten years ago to call others to “prepare!” cf. Prepare! To prepare for what? On the one level, it is to prepare for Christ’s coming at any moment, when He will call us home as individuals. However, it is also a call to prepare for sudden events that have been lying in wait on humanity’s horizon—to prepare for the “day of the Lord.”
But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. (1 Thess 5:4-6)
As I have recounted several times, I sensed Our Lady tell me on New Year’s Eve at the beginning of 2008 that it would be “The Year of the Unfolding”. In April of that year, the words came to me:
The economy, then the social, then the political order.
Each would fall like dominoes, one upon the other. In the autumn of 2008, the collapse of the economy began, and were it not for the fiscal policies of “quantitative easing” (ie. printing money), we would have already seen the decimation of several countries. It takes no prophet to recognize in the daily headlines that the systemic sickness in the world economy is now in “stage-four cancer” on life-support. Make no mistake: this collapse of the world’s currencies presently underway will force a new economic order to emerge that will likely re-draw the lines of national boundaries as bankrupt nations surrender their sovereignty to their lenders. Literally overnight, access to your money could virtually disappear.
But there is something else—and I have written about this before in The Hour of the Sword. The second seal of Revelation speaks of an event, or series of events, that take peace away from the world. In that regard 911 appears to be a precursor or even beginning of the definitive breaking of this seal. But I believe there is something else coming, a “thief in the night” that will bring the world into a difficult moment. And make no mistake—for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Middle East, the Sword has already come. And what can be said of the “great shaking” of the sixth seal that seizes the entire earth? That too will come like a thief (see Fatima and the Great Shaking).
And that is why I have often told my readers to always be in a “state of grace.” That is, to be ready to meet God at any moment: to repent of mortal and serious sin, and to begin immediately filling one’s “lamp” through prayer and the Sacraments. Why? Because the hour is coming when millions will be called home in the “blink of an eye.” cf. Mercy in Chaos Why? Not because God desires to punish mankind, but because mankind is going to reap what it has willfully sown—despite Heaven’s tears and appeals. The labor pains are not God’s punishment per se, but man punishing himself.
God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions, and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. —Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, Catholic Prophecy, P. 76
And in a rather striking recent message, Our Lady has allegedly affirmed that we are living in this hour.
The world is in a moment of trial, because it forgot and abandoned God. —allegedly from Our Lady of Medjugorje, message to Marija, August 25th, 2015
So how do we prepare? Many today are hustling about to store up months of food, water, weapons and resources. But many are going to be surprised when they are forced to leave everything they’ve stored up with nothing but the shirts on their backs. Don’t get me wrong—it’s prudent to have a good 3-4 weeks supply of food, water, blankets, etc. in the event of a natural disaster or power outage at any time. But those who put their hope in gold and silver, in caches of food and weapons, and even in moving to “remote” places, will not escape what is coming upon the earth. Heaven has offered us one refuge, and it is pretty straightforward:
My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. —Our Lady of Fatima, second apparition, June 13, 1917, The Revelation of the Two Hearts in Modern Times, www.ewtn.com
How is Mary’s Heart a refuge? By allowing her, our spiritual “ark” cf. The Great Ark in these times, to sail us safely to the Heart of her Son far away from the shoals of heresy. By letting her, as The New Gideon, lead us in battle against principalities and powers that fear her. By letting her, simply, to mother you with the graces of which she is full. cf. The Gr
Sad to say, people have uselessly spent the past 30 years debating whether Medjugorje is “true” or “false” cf. On Medjugorje rather than doing precisely what St. Paul instructed regarding private revelation: “do not despise prophecy… retain what is good.” cf. 1 Thess 5:20-21 Because there, in the message of Medjugorje consistently repeated for over three decades, are the teachings of the Catechism that are definitively “good”. see The Triumph – Part III And thus, a majority of the Church has ignored the preparation that, even now, Our Lady allegedly repeats:
Also today I am calling you to be prayer. May prayer be for you the wings for an encounter with God. The world is in a moment of trial, because it forgot and abandoned God. Therefore you, little children, be those who seek and love God above all. I am with you and I am leading you to my Son, but you must say your ‘yes’ in the freedom of children of God. —allegedly from Our Lady of Medjugorje, message to Marija, August 25th, 2015
I tell you, it is not the prospect of food lines or nuclear war that frightens me, but the alleged words of Our Lady: “you must say your ‘yes’ in the freedom of children of God.” That is to say that preparation is not automatic; that I can still fall asleep unprepared. cf. He Calls While We Slumber It is our duty to “seek first the kingdom” so that the Holy Spirit can fill our lamps with the necessary oil that will keep our interior lives aflame while the flame of faith is extinguished in the world. I want to repeat: it is by grace alone, given to us in our faithful response, that we will endure through the present and coming trials.
Because you have kept my message of endurance, I will keep you safe in the time of trial that is going to come to the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming quickly. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may take your crown. (Rev 3:10)
Pray for me, as I will for you, that we may hear and then act upon what the Lord is mercifully giving us in this hour, and commanding us in today’s Gospel: “stay awake!”
…be faithful sentinels of the Gospel, who await and prepare for the coming of the new Day that is Christ the Lord. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Meeting with Youth, May 5th, 2002; www.vatican.va
…may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. (First reading)
|cf. A Woman and a Dragon
|cf. Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?
|cf. The New Gideon
|cf. Snow in Cairo?
|cf. Novo Millennio Inuente, n.9
|see Two More Days, Faustina and the Day of the Lord, and The Final Judgments
|cf. How the Era was Lost
|cf. The Seven Seals of Revolution
|cf. Mercy in Chaos
|cf. The Great Ark
|cf. The Gr
|cf. On Medjugorje
|cf. 1 Thess 5:20-21
|see The Triumph – Part III
|cf. He Calls While We Slumber