The unknown day and hour
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - December 1, 2019 - 12:00am

December is finally here and this means the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is just a few weeks away. Today is the first Sunday of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word “Adventus” which means “coming”. Advent, as we have been told by the Catholic Church, is to prepare us for the birth of Christ, the Son of God. However we already know that our Lord Jesus Christ arrived in Palestine 2,000 years ago, so for us Christians, advent is also a preparation for the eventual second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, which means the end of times is upon us. However, no one, not even our Lord Jesus knows this, except the Father the only one who knows the exact date that our Lord will come. Today’s gospel comes from Matt. 24: 37-44.

“37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

“40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

“42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Today, as we begin the month of December, we are reminded of our main purpose in life; that we are mere temporary occupants in this earthly life we live in today. In ancient times, when books were not yet invented, the people always relied on their synagogue leaders to read to them what God speaks through his prophets. So as expected of him, our Lord Jesus Christ tells his disciples to be ready for our eventual coming to our heavenly home and to be with God, which is why we must always be ready.

As the first part of today’s gospel tells us, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

Just last month, terrible earthquakes have affected many parts of the Philippines, and these earthquakes have repeatedly struck Mindanao many times. It would make us think that perhaps the end of this world has finally come. Please remember that what our Lord said in today’s gospel as written by the evangelist Matthew was written 2,000 years ago and surely, many volcanoes have erupted and earthquakes devastated many towns and villages. Then very much later in modern times, the world suffered the great war in what was known as World War I and eventually World War II came, killing  6 million Jews and 50 million people who probably believed that the end of times have finally come.

I exhort you to watch again the documentaries of World War I and World War II to understand how these wars were even fought and how millions died in the process. Yet the end of times has not yet come. I suggest that firstly we must always be a good Boy Scout whose motto is “Be Prepared.” Most of all, we must always be ready to keep ourselves spiritually healthy in the eyes of God so if something happens to us, we can be ready to meet our maker. If we get ready for our eventual leaving this earth, one can say that we have been prepared to meet God if he decided to finally end life on earth.

vsbobita@gmail.com

LORD JESUS CHRIST
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