Prophesies From the Bible on the End Times:
For a summary of the final part of our insight into, what do we know about the End Times? I am going to use a summary of a homily I give on this topic each year on a Sunday when the First reading and the Gospel set the scene for this summary
Today’s gospel at first reading can be a little confusing when Jesus says. “Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace to the earth No I tell you but rather division”.
Yet in his final conversation with his apostles on their walk to the garden of Gethsemane Jesus says to his apostles. “Peace I leave with you my peace I give you a peace which this world cannot give”
You might well wonder is this, a contradiction. It is not, and to understand why not, we need to understand the context of today’s gospel. It is part of a larger text where Jesus lays out how the word of God, has always been rejected violently by large sections of the world’s population. It is been rejected in his time which will lead to his passion and death. In the future there will be persecutions under the Romans then the Muslims. There will be divisions in the church and ultimately wars, famine and ecological disasters in the end times.
So this fire, disasters and division Jesus foretells are not his wish. They have been brought about since the dawn of creation, where we hear of the murder of Able by Cain. It is driven by man’s desire to ignore the word of God and follow his own ego. It will continue this way only getting worse until the second coming of Jesus.
We hear in the first reading how the leaders of the Israelites who are Gods chosen people. 600 years before the birth of Jesus, want the prophet Jeremiah put to death. This is because he has been telling them, for years that they are not following the word of God, and that as a result disaster will follow, and for the Israelites so it did.
There is one theme, which is least read during Sunday liturgies, and little understood. That is the apocalyptic writings, related to end times, and the second coming of Jesus. The two key books on this topic are Daniel in the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation, which is the last book in the New Testament written by John the Evangelist, about sixty years after the death of Jesus. The key authoritative source is the teaching of Jesus, a small part of which we heard in today’s gospel.
Jesus before his passion and death gathered his disciples and delivered his final teaching on the future age. Instructing them on how to live, in the midst of political and cosmic upheavals, part of this final Testemanent of Jesus, is what we hear in today’s gospel. It’s helpful to remember that St. Luke was writing at a time when there was widespread oppression and persecution of the Christian community in Rome.
The vision of the future doesn’t looks very appealing at first reading. The bad news comes first. Jesus foretells a time of terror, trouble and persecution. Authorities will be oppressive, and people will be betrayed and handed over to these authorities. There will be wars, pestilence, plagues, earthquakes and famine. Then there will be cosmic upheavals, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness and the stars will come falling from heaven. After this catalogue of disasters, there is good news. Jesus looks beyond the time of distress to the final time. The time when the Son of man will gather the scattered people of God to himself, Jesus sees beyond suffering and persecution to a future of peace, love and eternal happiness in the presence of God.
Jesus tells us, just as we can tell the forthcoming seasons by observing nature. So we will be able to discern the oncoming of these end times, if we read the signs of the times correctly, as outlined in the bible. Many biblical scholars reading and interpreting these signs believe we are now entering these end times.
Our Lady at La Salatte, in 1846, Fatima in 1917, Garabandal in 1961, and Visionaries in some very recent messages, outlines the accelerating immorality of the world. Where mankind has largely lost the sense of sin, and all countries including our own, are introducing laws at an alarming rate, that are in Direct Contravention to Gods Divine Law. She warns of an impending worldwide chastisement and illumination of conscience, that echoes the description of the biblical end times.
Jesus tells us we will all face two judgements, our particular judgement immediately after death, and the general judgement at his second coming, when all will be revealed. The larger gospel tract from which today’s teaching is a part, ends with the words of Jesus. “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away”.
The Covid Pandemic,is a forerunner and a small taste of the tribulations of these end times
Ultimately irrespective of when the end times may commence.
These words of Jesus urge us to live, as if today is our last day.