LIVING IN THE END TIMES – 15

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

(Part 159)

LIVING IN THE END TIMES – 15

November 16, 2015

Today’s readings:

1 Maccabees 1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-63

Psalm 119:53,61,134,150,155,158

Much of what is happening in the world today with regard to the assault on faith by radical feminist, homosexualist, secular humanist forces, especially already in the West, parallels what happened in the time of the Maccabees.

“In those days there appeared in Israel transgressors of the law who seduced many, saying: ‘Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles all around us” (1 Mc 1:11a). These are the liberals/progressives/modernists in the West, who would like to stamp out religion and faith. In the name of personal liberty and human rights, they are promoting a society open to anything, focused on the centrality of the human person rather than of God. Christians in the West have compromised with the world and been absorbed by it. They are not distinguishable from their non-Christian counterparts. They have embraced the deadly isms of today’s modern society–materialism, consumerism, hedonism, secular humanism, Modernism, cultural Marxism, contraceptive imperialism. Many Catholics, lapsed or active or even self-proclaimed as devout, are in favor of contraception, divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage.

“They disguised their circumcision and abandoned the holy covenant; they allied themselves with the Gentiles and sold themselves to wrongdoing.” (1 Mc 1:15). Many Christians can no longer be distinguishable from the fallen world around them. They have embraced the secularist culture, are afraid to openly profess their faith, and are living in serious wrongdoing.

“Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and abandon their particular customs.” (1 Mc 1:41a). In the US, judges are overturning people’s popular will in favor of the culture of life. The US Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage. There are many laws that penalize hate speech (read: speaking against homosexuality) or not servicing same-sex couples due to one’s religious belief. The culture in the West, backed by government and secular laws, is becoming more and more antagonistic to Christians living out their traditional Judeo-Christian faith. The Ten Commandments and crucifixes are being removed from offices. The US government is pushing LGBT on the developing nations as its prime diplomatic thrust.

“All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many Israelites delighted in his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.” (1 Mc 1:42b-43). Many Christians, simply nominal in their faith, have thus fallen away. Others who desire to live out their faith are intimidated by laws that will result in their being sued and fined and even imprisoned for insisting on living out their faith, in business for example. But many more Christians, including Catholics, have truly embraced the new culture and the isms. They delight in sexual freedom, in using contraceptives to free them from fear of pregnancy, in aborting babies that are unwanted, in having same-sex relationships. The majority of Catholics are no longer going to Sunday Mass. They have stopped worshiping God and are now under the dominion of the devil.

“Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant, and whoever observed the law, was condemned to death by royal decree.” (1 Mc 1:57). In the Middle East and countries such as India, Christians are routinely killed by radical Muslims or Hindus. It has not yet come to this in the West, but there is already a lot of persecution. If the move toward the left continues, it will inevitably lead to more vile persecution of those who do not conform, including martyrdom.

“But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.” (1 Mc 1:62-63). There is today a fight for the soul of America. I would say that the situation is 50-50 on which side would eventually win out, with the liberals/progressives/modernists, supported by the Democratic Party (the party of death), liberal media (CNN, ABC, CBC, NBC, MSNBC) and billionaire philanthropists, right now being very powerful and influential, while the majority of Americans still support traditional family and life values but are the silent majority. Now pro-family and pro-life and pro-faith groups and various Church groups in the USA are finding their voices and are determined not to allow the culture of death to advance further. Will they prefer martyrdom if ever, than profane their covenant with God?

And very great wrath came upon Israel.” (1 Mc 1:64). The tsunami of evil is upon the West and the whole world.

How do we survive this tribulation? How do we remain faithful to our Lord and our Church? We need to look to God and to His words and to His commands. Of course, we need to know these first, then by God’s grace, mercy and strength, we must strive to live these out. Psalm 119, the longest psalm, looks to God’s word, especially the scriptures, for instruction in the faith. In this psalm there are 9 different words used for “instruction”: law, statute, commandment, precept, testimony, word, judgment, way and promise.

“Malicious persecutors draw near me; they are far from your law.” (Ps 119:150). The barbarians are not only at the gates but are already within, even inside our Catholic Church. They are unspiritual people who transgress God’s laws and ways. They will use all means to stamp out religion, including persecuting those who do not conform to their ways.

“The arrogant smear me with lies, but I keep your precepts with all my heart.” (Ps 119:69). The liberals are masters at doublespeak, and they have liberal media on their side. They regularly speak falsehoods. They label those who speak against homosexuality as bigots and homophobes. They insist abortion is an integral part of health care for women. Some even celebrate abortion as a sacrament.

“Rage seizes me because of the wicked; they forsake your law.” (Ps 119:53). We must rise up in righteous anger at what is happening in our midst, rather than giving in to political correctness, to not saying anything that is offensive, to not call sin sin.

“I view the faithless with loathing because they do not heed your promise.” (Ps 119:158). Just look at Gay Pride parades and see the depravity that is displayed there. See how Planned Parenthood mercilessly aborts the unborn and even makes a big business of selling baby parts. See the abominations that gays and pedophiles engage in. Should we not loathe such evil? We of course must love the sinner even as we hate the sin.

“Salvation is far from sinners because they do not cherish your statutes.” (Ps 119:155). In loving sinners we must look to evangelizing them. They are headed for damnation, unless they repent and turn to Jesus. They need to meet Christ and live Christ.

“Though the snares of the wicked surround me, your law I do not forget.” (Ps 119:61). Faithful Christians will be persecuted, as the secular environment becomes more entangled with the culture of death. As religion and even Christian preaching will be restricted and even prohibited, many will no longer hear what the authentic gospel is. We must strive to pray, to read and study the Bible daily, to make use of the many resources for authentic Christian living, many found on the Internet. How I love your law, Lord! I study it all day long.” (Ps 119:97). We must know our faith. We must know the word of God and the teachings of our Catholic Church. “My soul longs for your salvation; I put my hope in your word.” (Ps 119:81). This is the way to salvation.

“Free me from human oppression, that I may observe your precepts.” (Ps 119:134). We look to God to protect, guide, strengthen and empower us. We look to God for relief from human oppression and to protect our right to practice our faith.

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