The verses of 1 John 2:18-21 say: “Children, it is the last hour.” Let’s look at: What is the “last hour”? When will it finally happen? Or has it happened already? Since the day Jesus ascended to Heaven, people have been looking for the Second Coming of Christ, expecting it to happen soon, wishing it would happen very soon to rescue our world from the evil-doings of multiple major crises.
It seems like now would be a good time for it, right? In today’s world, we’re keenly aware of bad news and the rampant immorality that’s been occurring everywhere. And it’s only been getting worse, becoming full-blown crises. Where is Jesus? When is that “last hour”?
Our world has been deteriorating around us. There was a time when we could leave home without locking our doors. Now we not only have to lock up everything, we don’t even feel safe walking outside the house. Crime has increased; respect for human life has decreased. Sexual promiscuity has increased; couples choosing the Sacrament of Marriage have decreased. Fewer families stay together, fewer mothers stay home to raise children (mainly because of the bad economic times we’ve been living in), and fewer fathers take their kids to church. Fewer men become priests, fewer people are involved in parish life, and scandals in the Church work against evangelization. Meanwhile, terrorism and war or the possibility of war are threatening and devastating.
Where is Jesus? When is that “last hour”? When is he going to rescue us from all of this?
Let’s look at the “last hour” in terms of history. History repeats itself; an analysis of historical, social trends reveals cycles of alternating renewal and deterioration. We are, in fact, at the same part of the cycle as the Great Depression and the two World Wars of the early 1900s. That means that we are living through years of increasing deterioration, and eventually this will lead to a new renewal period.
As I’ve prayerfully studied this phenomenon of historical cycles, I’ve gained confidence in the belief that God will once again make good come from bad. For example, I believe that someday Church scandals we lead to an increase of holy vocations. I also believe that respect for the life of unborn babies will spread because selfish individualism, which makes abortion seem like such a good idea, will prove devastatingly empty and unsatisfying.
Remember, if we just look at the bad that’s happening, we easily lose hope. We naturally want Jesus to hurry up and bring us total victory over evil by destroying all evil-doers and rapturing us away from this terrible world.
Instead, we should look for Jesus in what he is doing now and expect him to bring his victory to Earth by making good come from bad. The “last hour” that scriptures speak of is the era of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit to empower us to continue his ministry and change the world.
So, instead of relying on the Second Coming of Christ to rescue us, we spring into action, empowered to change the world and overcome evil.
The Gospel of John 1:1-18 draws us back to the first hour: “In the beginning was the Word.” Jesus is the first and the last Word. As one year ends and another begins, let us ask: “Is Jesus truly the first and last Word in my life? What will I do in the new year to let the Holy Spirit transform the world through me?”
© 2008 & 2022 by Terry A. Modica
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