How will it all end? It is natural human curiosity to want to know how things will end. We hate TV shows that end the season with “cliffhangers” since we have to wait to see if all the main characters died. Of course, we know they probably didn’t but we are never quite sure. Some of us skip to the end of a detective novel because we can’t wait to see how it will end. While all of this is harmless fun this natural curiosity can also lead us astray.
For centuries Christians have studied the book of Revelation to discern the signs of the end. Some have even claimed that they can predict exactly when the end will come usually labeling their enemy as the Antichrist. They seem to forget that we are supposed to love our enemies not condemn them as the Antichrist. The folly of all these studied predictions is revealed by Jesus’ teaching: “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32). If Jesus, the Son of God, does not know when the end will come it is both folly and arrogance for anyone else to claim they can predict the end.
Jesus warns us in today’s Gospel against such folly: “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’” Throughout the centuries both political and religious leaders have claimed to be the Messiah. Jesus warns us: “See that you not be deceived.” We should never allow a religious or political leader who espouses hatred, racism, or violence to deceive us. Pope Francis has declared that “violence in the name of God is the greatest blasphemy.”
While we do not know when the end will come we do know that God is always with us: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39).