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(Part 99)


November 27, 2014

Today’s readings:
Revelation 18:1-2,21-23; 19:1-3,9
Psalm 100:2-5
Luke 21:20-28

We are in the end times. “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Lk 21:27). What a glorious time!

But it will be a time of judgment. If you have been faithful to God, then “stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Lk 21:28b). If however you have not responded to God’s call, “these days are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are fulfilled.” (Lk 21:22). God has repeatedly warned us through His word in the Bible. For those who have not responded to God’s love, “a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people.” (Lk 21:23b).

There is still time, as “His mercy endures forever” (Ps 100:5b). But time is running out. The end will come like a thief in the night. When that happens, it would be too late. “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.” (Lk 21:25). We are already being given foretastes, such as devastating storms and tsunamis. “People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Lk 21:26).

God will not be mocked. The God of love is also the God of justice. Judgment day will come. What will happen to the nations that have embraced worldly evil pleasures? “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. She has become a haunt for demons. She is a cage for every unclean spirit, .... For all the nations have drunk the wine of her licentious passion.” (Rv 18:2-3a). This is what we see in the world today, the sexual licentiousness permeating all societies. We see the consumerism, materialism, hedonism, the total focus on money, sex and power, as “the merchants of the earth grew rich from her drive for luxury.” (Rv 18:3c).

But all is not lost for the world. God loves us all, winning salvation for us through the blood of the Lamb. We are still invited to come to Jesus, to accept him as Savior and Lord, to be counted among His people. We are the lost sheep that Jesus still searches for. “Know that the Lord is God, he made us, we belong to him, we are his people, the flock he shepherds.” (Ps 100:3). God wants us back. God wants us to receive the blessings already reserved for us. God invites us to partake of the great heavenly banquet. “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” (Rv 19:9b). How can they come to Jesus? They need to encounter him, to meet Christ. This happens as we share Christ. We evangelize. We proclaim the gospel.

Would it not be the greatest joy if we are able to help bring someone to Christ? This is the joy of the gospel (Evangelii Gaudium). We are to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps 100:2a). Then all together we can “come before him with joyful song” (Ps 100:2b). Then we can all together make it to heaven. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise.” (Ps 100:4a).

We are supposed to take up God’s harps. What a tragedy it would be if “no melodies of harpists and musicians, flutists and trumpeters, will ever be heard in you again.” (Rv 18:22a). So let us evangelize massively, and look to the wedding feast that is to come. May our work help prepare the bride for the Bridegroom. “For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready.” (Rv 19:7b).

Then, instead of doom and gloom, instead of fright and dread, instead of being perplexed and dismayed, “let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory.” (Rv 19:7a).

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