"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fr. Campbell, "“The Day of the Lord” (1Thess.5:2)"

“The Day of the Lord” (1Thess.5:2)

The present state of this Godless world, drifting always closer to the abyss of World War III, should be enough to turn us to God, seeking His mercy and protection. But we have to wonder if the time of Mercy is past, and the time of Justice is upon us.

The ancient Israelites were visited with seven punishments, each succeeding punishment more severe than the previous one. According to Chapter 26 of the Book of Leviticus, God had promised abundant blessings to His Chosen People if they were faithful to the holy Covenant established by Him through Moses on Mount Sinai. But there were corresponding seven-fold punishments which would fall upon the people if they were to break the covenant. These were the covenant curses, or woes.

“So devastated will I leave the land,” God decreed, “that your very enemies who come to live there will stand aghast at the sight of it. You yourselves I will scatter among the nations at the point of my drawn sword, leaving your countryside desolate and your cities deserted” (Lev.26:32,33).  

And so it was! Jesus Himself uttered seven woes against the Jewish religious leaders, echoing the seven woes of Leviticus. They were rejecting Him, the Lord of the Covenant. Therefore, the seven covenant curses, the woes, would come upon them. “This generation shall not pass away until all these things have been accomplished,” Jesus declared (Mt.24:34).  As He wept over Jerusalem He foretold its destruction:

“For days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a rampart about you and surround you and shut you in on every side, and will dash you to the ground and your children within you, and will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you have not known the time of your visitation” (Lk.19:43,44).  

With God there is nothing that isn’t planned. Friday, September 22nd, was the Jewish Feast of Trumpets. And the Apocalypse says that shortly after the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet the Great Sign of the Woman clothed with the sun would appear in the heavens, as it did yesterday, September 23rd. This is what we read beginning at the end of Chapter 11 of the Apocalypse:

“And the temple of God in heaven was opened, and there was seen the ark of his covenant in his temple, and there came flashes of lightning, and peals of thunder, and an earthquake, and great hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Apoc.11:19-12:1).

Scarcely any notice is taken of the mention of the Ark of the Covenant in Heaven just before the announcement of the Great Sign. The Church sees in this Ark the Blessed Virgin Mary. It could in no way be the ancient ark of the covenant, the container for the Tablets of the Law given to Moses. The ancient ark was of this world only, and it was merely a foreshadowing of the true Ark, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who carried the Holy One, Jesus Christ, in her womb for nine months. The Ark seen in Heaven was our Heavenly Queen, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Great Sign that then appears represents both her and the Holy Catholic Church. But few take any notice of this. As Noah took refuge in his ark, we take refuge in the true Ark, Our Mother.

Now that we have entered the time of God’s justice, what must we do? Look at the world! The nations don’t know how to avoid destructive wars. St. Paul writes:

“But of the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that we write to you, for you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord is to come as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, ‘Peace and security,’ even then sudden destruction will come upon them, as birth pangs upon her who is with child, and they will not escape” (1Thess.5:1-3).

But our escape is to hope in the Lord, and find refuge in the keeping of His word:

“You are my refuge and my shield; in your word I hope… Sustain me as you have promised, that I may live; disappoint me not in my hope. Help me, that I may be safe and ever delight in your statutes” (Ps.118:114;116,117).

The world is condemned, but our refuge is in the keeping of His word. We must not love what the world loves. We must not love those things that mean death to the soul. If we have strayed from keeping God’s Commandments, we must repent immediately, and return to the fervent practice of our Holy Faith, while we still have a chance.

Recent trials may cause us great anxiety and provoke us to anger. There is a place for anger, but St. Paul reminds us: 

“‘Be angry and do not sin’; do not let the sun go down on your anger… Let no ill speech proceed from your mouth, but whatever is good for supplying what fits the current necessity, that it may give grace to the hearers” (Eph.4:26;29).

St. Paul continues with these graced words:

“Be you, therefore, imitators of God, as very dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and delivered himself up for us an offering and a sacrifice to God to ascend in fragrant odor. But immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you as becomes saints; or obscenity or foolish talk or scurrility, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For know this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (for that is idolatry) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one lead you astray with empty words; for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience. Do not, then, become partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Eph.5:1-8).