Riots, floods, the sun going out . . . it’s easy to wonder if these are the End Times we’ve heard so much about. Well, guess what? They totally are. But it’s maybe not what you think.
Catholics believe that the “End Times” began when Christ ascended into Heaven and will end when He returns in glory, “as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other.” (Luke 17:24) So, yes, the world is ending. It has been ending for quite a while now, and it always will be ending, until it . . . does.
What Catholics don’t believe is that God has left us a series of clues to unravel and signs to recognize, so we’ll know exactly when the end of the End will come. We don’t believe that there are hidden prophecies in the Bible that will enable some to know when Jesus will come again. Instead, we believe in what the Bible flat out says. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus tells us that no one knows. The Angels don’t know. HE doesn’t know. Only the Father knows. And some doomsday guys who like to rent out billboards. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church § 732, 1040)
Oh, wait. Those guys don’t.
Jesus warns us about them in today’s Gospel: “There will be those who will say to you, 'Look, there he is,' or 'Look, here he is.' Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.” (Luke 17:23)
So we shouldn’t bother asking ourselves, “When will the world end?” or, “Was that a sign?” because, really, it doesn’t matter. Each day, I should be walking that line between *The World Could End Tomorrow* and *But it Most Likely Won’t.*
The world might end tomorrow so I better get to Confession, forgive that person who said mean stuff about me, and kiss my kids goodnight. But it most likely won’t end tomorrow. I brush my teeth, and pay my bills, and teach my kids long division. And I remember that, for us, the end of the world is nothing to fear. The end of this world will just be the beginning of eternity. And until it comes, we’ll keep ourselves busy here, doing His work, each in our own way.
Pray your prayers tonight and trust for tomorrow.
Kendra Tierney is a forty year old mother of nine and wife of one living in and working on a big old fixer-upper house in Los Angeles. She's a homeschooler and a regular schooler and is counting down the days until her oldest turns sixteen and can take over some of the driving! Her new book about living the liturgical year in the home is in the editing process. You can find her first book, A Little Book About Confession, here, her blog here, and her word art here.