IT is said that after the messengers of St. John the Baptist left, Christ immediately described who and how St. John was. (cfr. Lk 7,24-30) “What did you go out to the desert to see – a reed swayed by the wind?” he asked. “Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces.
“Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom Scripture says: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you.”
In describing St. John the Baptist, Christ somehow is also describing us. Like St. John the Baptist, we should also get involved in preparing for the second coming of Christ at the end of time. We should help others to make the proper preparation by attuning people’s hearts and minds to the will and spirit of God.
We may suffer the same fate as that of St. John the Baptist, but it will be all worth it. We need to do something about how things are today, since like him whose call for repentance as preparation for the coming of the Redeemer was a lonely cry in the desert, the voice of God today as well as that of the Church or of any spiritual and moral Christian teaching is becoming a voice of one crying in the wilderness.
Present circumstances in the world point to a growing deafness and insensibility to the truths of faith and morals. The prologue of St. John’s gospel already captures this phenomenon: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (1,11)
We need to do something about this predicament by preparing for our death and the end times. This is just to be realistic. It’s not meant to scare us nor to be a killjoy or a wet blanket in our life. Not only do we all die. There is also the end of time itself. Our earthly existence is just a sojourn, a training and testing ground before we enter into our definitive life for all eternity, hopefully in heaven with our Father and Creator God.
We need to develop a good and healthy sense of our life’s end, which is our death that can come to us anytime, as well as the end of time itself. If we follow our Christian faith, we know that there is nothing to be afraid of or anxious about in these truths of our faith.
We would know what truly is the purpose of our life here and of our earthly existence in general. We also would know that we have all the means to pursue that purpose properly. We are somehow reminded of this truth of our faith in that gospel episode where Christ talked about the end of the world. (cfr. Mk 13,24-32)
But, yes, we have to develop a good and healthy sense of how to end our life well, properly prepared to meet Christ in our particular judgment as well as in our general judgment during Christ’s second coming.
Having a good sense of the end gives us a global picture of our life that spans from time to eternity, and sheds light on the present. It guides us. It gives us a sense of confidence and security. It reassures us that we are on the right track, that we are doing well. It tells us what to correct or change, etc.