The days are coming, says the Lord.
In those days Judah shall be safe.
It seems that the Old Testament is full of promises that look forward to better times, yet, century after century the Chosen People endured trials, tribulations and conquests without seeing those promises fulfilled – at least to their expectations. That is the human view of things.
From God’s perspective – and he reminds them of this on many, many occasions – it was not He who forgot His promises, but them. So often they cried out to God from their misery, swearing never to turn from Him again, and He rescued them, He raised them up and renewed His promises. Then, after spending time in the luxury of God’s forgiveness, they would forget the past, turn away from Him and think, wrongly, that God had forgotten them. I hope this doesn’t sound familiar but we too often need St. Paul’s reminder to conduct yourselves to please God.
Jesus’ words today, if we take them seriously, can be troubling and distressing. “There will be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay.”
“People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming.”
We should be careful not to overlook that we are just as human as the Chosen People of God. We, too, can become complacent and comfortable in our lives, especially when we hear these words and promises of Jesus year after year, or century after century as the Church has proclaimed them. Will this world really come to an end? Will my 401k and all of my personal wealth and treasures really become useless? It’s a hard pill to swallow if we take serious time to ponder these words, but ponder them we must.
Dismay and despair are antithetical to a Christian’s life. It is not what God wants from a person who is committed to live a life of Faith. Paul urges us to “increase and abound in love… so as to strengthen your hearts,” and that we should “conduct ourselves to please God.” In the end, it is only our relationship with Him that counts. That is what Holy Mother Church wants us to remember every moment of our daily lives.