The End Times…
Do we know the date and time of “the end?”:
As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple area, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this happen, and what sign will there be when all these things are about to come to an end?” -Mark 13:3-4, NAB
In Mark 13:1-2, Jesus has just told the disciples about the coming destruction of the temple. Christ’s answer eludes to both the destruction of the temple and the parousia (when Jesus establishes His kingdom). His answer comes later in Mark 13:
“But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” -Mark 13:32-33, NAB
When is Jesus coming again to establish His kingdom? No one knows but God. Many men have claimed to know the time or date, but they are consistently wrong. Over and over again, preachers claim to know when it will happen, but the date comes and goes with nothing happening – proving, once again, that no one knows.
Many Christians have a fascination with the End Times, myself included. How amazing will it be to live in Christ’s newly established Kingdom? But I’ve learned not to spend too much time on it. God tells us to be prepared, so I am; I leave it at that.
How can we prepare for Christ’s kingdom? In the same way that we prepare ourselves for heaven: prayer, studying Scripture, almsgiving, serving those less fortunate. These are all things that we should be doing anyway. There is nothing outside of normal Christian living that we really need to do.
Everyone focuses on when Christ will come again, but the truth of the matter is that He is already here.
“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20, NAB
Jesus is with us always, and Catholics celebrate this everyday in the Eucharist. Each day, at daily Mass, we have the chance to be with Christ. We don’t have to wait for the “end times.” If we want to be with Christ, we can be today.
Do not let yourself become consumed with fears of the apocalypse. Simply prepare yourself through good, Christian living, and make an effort to be with Christ, at least weekly, in the Eucharist. Do these things, and if the parousia should occur, you will be more than ready.