The Last Judgments

 


 

I believe that the vast majority of the Book of Revelation refers, not to the end of the world, but to the end of this era. Only the last few chapters really look at the very end of the world while everything else before mostly describes a “final confrontation” between the “woman” and the “dragon”, and all the terrible effects in nature and society of a general rebellion that accompanies it. What divides that final confrontation from the end of the world is a judgment of the nations—what we are primarily hearing in this week’s Mass readings as we approach the first week of Advent, the preparation for Christ’s coming.

For the past two weeks I keep hearing the words in my heart, “Like a thief in the night.” It is the sense that events are coming upon the world that are going to take many of us by surprise, if not many of us home. We need to be in a “state of grace,” but not a state of fear, for anyone of us could be called home at any moment. With that, I feel compelled to republish this timely writing from December 7th, 2010…

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Resolute

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 30th, 2014
Memorial of St. Jerome

Liturgical texts here

 

 

ONE man laments his sufferings. The other goes straight toward them. One man questions why he was born. Another fulfills His destiny. Both men long for their deaths.

The difference being that Job wants to die to end his suffering. But Jesus wants to die to end our suffering. And thus…

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The Everlasting Dominion

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 29th, 2014
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

Liturgical texts here


The Fig Tree

 

 

BOTH Daniel and St. John write of a terrible beast that rises to overwhelm the entire world for a short time… but is followed by the establishment of God’s Kingdom, “an everlasting dominion.” It is given not only to the one “like a son of man”, [1]cf. First reading but…

…the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. (Dan 7:27)

This sounds like Heaven, which is why many mistakenly speak of the end of the world after the fall of this beast. But the Apostles and Church Fathers understood it differently. They anticipated that, at some point in the future, God’s Kingdom would come in a profound and universal way before the end of time.

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1. cf. First reading

Removing the Restrainer

 

THE past month has been one of palpable sorrow as the Lord continues to warn that there is So Little Time Left. The times are sorrowful because mankind is about to reap what God has begged us not to sow. It is sorrowful because many souls do not realize that they are on the precipice of eternal separation from Him. It is sorrowful because the hour of the Church’s own passion has come when a Judas will rise up against her. [1]cf. The Seven Year Trial-Part VI It is sorrowful because Jesus is not only being neglected and forgotten throughout the world, but abused and mocked once again. Hence, the Time of times has come when all lawlessness will, and is, breaking forth across the globe.

Before I go on, ponder for a moment the truth-filled words of a saint:

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings. —St. Francis de Sales, 17th century bishop

Indeed, this blog is not here to scare or frighten, but to confirm and prepare you so that, like the five wise virgins, the light of your faith will not be snuffed out, but glow ever brighter when the light of God in the world is fully dimmed, and darkness fully unrestrained. [2]cf. Matt 25:1-13

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matt 25:13)

 

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1. cf. The Seven Year Trial-Part VI
2. cf. Matt 25:1-13

The Consequences of Compromise

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for February 13th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

What’s left of Solomon’s Temple, destroyed 70 A.D.

 

 

THE beautiful story of Solomon’s achievements, when working in harmony with God’s grace, came to a halt.

When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God.

Solomon no longer followed God “unreservedly as his father David had done.” He began to compromise. In the end, the Temple he constructed, and all its beauty, was reduced to rubble by the Romans.

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Francis, and the Coming Passion of the Church

 

 

IN February last year, shortly after Benedict XVI’s resignation, I wrote The Sixth Day, and how we appear to be approaching the “twelve o’clock hour,” the threshold of the Day of the Lord. I wrote then,

The next pope will guide us too… but he is ascending a throne that the world wishes to overturn. That is the threshold of which I am speaking.

As we look at the world’s reaction to the pontificate of Pope Francis, it would seem the opposite. Hardly a news day goes by that the secular media isn’t running some story, gushing over the new pope. But 2000 years ago, seven days before Jesus was crucified, they were gushing over Him too…

 

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2014 and the Rising Beast

 

 

THERE are many hopeful things developing in the Church, most of them quietly, still very much hidden from view. On the other hand, there are many troubling things on the horizon of humanity as we enter 2014. These too, though not as hidden, are lost on most people whose source of information remains the mainstream media; whose lives are caught in the treadmill of busyness; who have lost their internal connection to God’s voice through a lack of prayer and spiritual development. I am speaking of souls who do not “watch and pray” as Our Lord asked us.

I can’t help but call to mind what I published six years ago on this very eve of the Feast of the Holy Mother of God:

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The Lion of Judah

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 17th, 2013

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THERE is a powerful moment of drama in one of St. John’s visions in the Book of Revelation. After hearing the Lord chastise the seven churches, warning, exhorting, and preparing them for His coming, [1]cf. Rev 1:7 St. John is shown a scroll with writing on both sides that is sealed with seven seals. When he realizes that “no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth” is able to open and examine it, he begins to weep profusely. But why is St. John weeping over something he hasn’t read yet?

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1. cf. Rev 1:7

Snow In Cairo?


First snow in Cairo, Egypt in 100 years, AFP-Getty Images

 

 

SNOW in Cairo? Ice in Israel? Sleet in Syria?

For several years now, the world has watched as natural earth events ravage various regions from place to place. But is there a link to what is also happening in society en masse: the ravaging of the natural and moral law?

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The Horizon of Hope

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 3rd, 2013
Memorial of St. Francis Xavier

Liturgical texts here

 

 

ISAIAH gives such a consoling vision of the future that one could be forgiven for suggesting it is a mere “pipe dream.” After the purification of the earth by “the rod of [the Lord’s] mouth, and the breath of his lips,” Isaiah writes:

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall down with the kid… There shall be no more harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea. (Isaiah 11)

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