Today’s First and Gospel Readings at Mass are from Daniel 12:1-3 and Mark 13:24-32, respectively. In these verses of sacred Scripture the prophet Daniel and Jesus offers us a number of images of the ‘last days’. Daniel, hearing from the Lord, conveyed that it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress; those who sleep in the dust of earth shall awake and some shall live forever, while others shall be an everlasting horror in disgrace. Jesus says there will be a number of signs visible to sensory perception that His coming has arrived; such as a darkened sun, a moon that gives no light, stars falling from the sky, and the great sign of the Son of Man coming in the clouds in power and glory. He concludes His imagery with the warning, “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

By the recommendation of a friend, I watched a really great movie last night called Time Changer (2002). The movie begins in the year 1890 and centers around a new manuscript that Bible professor Russell Carlisle has written that was entitled “The Changing Times”. His book has to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board members of the Grace Bible Seminary before it is published. The only board member who has an strong objection to a portion of Carlisle’s book is his colleague Dr. Norris Anderson. Anderson’s objection concerns Carlisle’s position in the book that Jesus’ teachings can be taught to the world without using the authority of Jesus’ name behind them. Dr. Anderson believes that what Carlisle has written could greatly affect the future of coming generations. His belief is grounded in the fact that he has visited the future through a time machine built by his father. The goal of Anderson in this movie is to help Carlisle understand the error and consequences of his work by sending him over 100 years into the future.

Imagine for a second how disturbing it would be for a faithful Christian from the 19th century to visit a mainstream city in the United States today. With the influence of Satan, the mainstream culture and media has done a great job desensitizing us to a lot of what is going on around us. Without the help of the Holy Spirit within us leading us towards all truth, we wouldn’t think less about all of the sexual immorality, deceit, lack of regard for human life, and absence of God many segments of society. Carlisle was disturbed by businesses being open on Sunday, people using cursing God’s name in a movie, Churches evangelizing their social programs rather than the teachings of Jesus, the immodest dress of women, Christian theology not being able to be taught in public schools, and lack of regard that children had for their elders. This and more led Anderson to believe that the year 2000 was the ‘last days’, and hours before he departed back to his own time he preached a compassionate fire and brimstone – come to Jesus – get your life together type of sermon to the Church he had visited during his three day journey. The sermon seemed to fall on death ears.

Despite some of it’s Protestant overtones, such as one reference to the pre-tribulation Rapture error, and attempts by Anderson to discover the last day and hour, it was a really great movie that I highly recommend.

The call of today’s readings at Mass is for us to live in the reality of the one certain thing; that is, not very long from now, every single one of us will face our judgement, and after that we will either live for eternity in Heaven or eternity in Hell. Being that none of us knows for certain the day or hour of our death, we must do all that we can, with the help of God’s grace, to live a life worthy of Him who loved us first, and we must love others as He loved us by sharing with as many people as possible the Good News of a better life In Christ Jesus.

In a sense, we are all Time Changers. We all have the power to cooperate with God to assist Him with helping our neighbors position themselves to live an eternal life with Him, and we also have the power to cooperate with Satan to assist him with helping our neighbors position themselves to live an eternal life in Hell. It is up to us to choose to which power we are committed to live our life exercising. Choose God always!

PSALMS 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.