One officemate is in the hospital combatting a sickness, friends are challenged in their jobs, while others speak of bad luck and misfortunes. The past days have been quite challenging to most that one faithful follower of the Lord just said that despite all these let us pray more and be hopeful that we persevere till the end.
In the Gospel (Mk 13: 24-32), the Lord speaks about the end of days and His Second Coming. He tells that “in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the Heavens will be shaken.”
There must be some confusion among the disciples as the Lord hasn’t even clarified how things will turn out with the First Coming. As it was in their time, so it is with ours. Day in and day out, the same problems we encounter, the same challenges re-surface. If your faith is weak, then all these become heavy burdens, anxieties prevail, and miseries seem piling up higher and higher.
We know that the disciples experienced Jesus Passion, Death and Resurrection, and then they must have remembered the Lord telling them, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.”
They must have patiently waited, they did their mission work, then they died, and yet the “Second Coming” didn’t literally come to pass.
So, what is Jesus telling? He is exhorting us to be ready at all times:
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk. 21: 36)
More importantly, Jesus wants us to be prepared as nobody knows, except God the Father:
“But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
He doesn’t want you to waste your life but eventually be “… an everlasting horror and disgrace.”
When we are facing difficulties and challenges, we shouldn’t waver in our faith. It may appear that the Lord hasn’t answered our prayers but my take is that we should trust Him all the more. I think and believe that those times we feel abandoned are critical in that those instances may spell the difference between salvation and eternal damnation. Distrusting and losing hope is a sign that we are losing faith in God, thus may be the instance that we’ve abandoned Him and gone astray. Thus, the more we feel we are alone, the stronger we should cling to the Lord. As the Gospel tells us,
“He spoke to them of the signs taking the lesson from the fig tree, such that “when you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates”.
He is near, not in the flesh (except during Mass in the Holy Eucharist), but in His Holy Spirit. So, be careful! Whatever is happening with you, just believe that this is the enemy’s way of bringing you over to the dark side. Remember that these tests are temporary,
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Jesus is telling us that whatever sufferings you are experiencing here, or, whatever happiness you are enjoying now are fleeting and will not stand the tests of time. Only His words will.
Let us pray that the Lord grant us the strength to persevere and to endure the long wait. May the Holy Spirit make us become more aware of His presence, His love and His peace.
‘You are my inheritance, O Lord!’