The Supremely Urgent Why!
” ‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. And already, Frodo, our time is beginning to look black. The Enemy is fast becoming very strong.’ ” (The Lord of the Rings)
“You are well aware that almost the whole human race is today allowing itself to be driven into two opposing camps – for Christ or against Christ. The human race is involved today in a supreme crisis which will issue in its salvation by Christ – or in its dire destruction.” (Pope Pius XII, Evangelii Praecones, 1951)
Men who live with Christ’s Sense of Urgency
Our Lord Jesus Christ talked with urgency, lived with urgency, died with urgency.
Indeed, he began his public life talking about time and the urgency of entering the Kingdom of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:15).
The Priest, prolonging Christ’s Salvific Mission, is Working Against the Clock of History
With Christ’s life, death, and resurrection mankind has entered into the final stage of history which will end with His Second Coming. The universe and history have a deadline that may arrive at any instant. “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly ” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev 22:20)
Because time and history will, at some unexpected instant, suddenly come to a shockingly abrupt end:
“And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the land lifted up his hand to Heaven and swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created the heaven and the things that are therein, and the earth and the things that are therein, and the sea and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.” (Revelation 10:5-6)
“You know not the day or the hour” when “the Son of Man will come to judge the living and the dead” and time and history will come to an end and everyone will appear before the throne of the Eternal and Omnipotent One to receive a sentence of eternal salvation or damnation. This will be the final judgment, irrevocable, determining life for ever and ever: “It is appointed for men to die once and then comes judgment”
The Urgency is in Every Age and For Every Individual – For No One Knows the Day or Hour of the End of Time or the End of His Time
Every page of the New Testament thunders or murmurs this message: “Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Mt 24:44), “as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Mt 24:27).
“The day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thess 5:2); “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” (Romans 13:12).
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mt 24:29-31)
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Rev 22:7); “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches” (Rev 16:15), “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Rev 22:12).
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Mt. 36-44)
Supremely Urgent in our Age of Apostasy and the “Dictatorship of Relativism”
Living under the onslaught of the “Dictatorship of Relativism” (Benedict XVI) and amid the massive “religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675), the Church desperately cries out for priests who will act like the angels portrayed in Genesis 19:15-17, communicating urgency to the men and women of the secularized godless city:
“At dawn the next morning the angels became urgent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot, “take your wife and your two daughters who are here and get out while you can, or you will be caught in the punishment of the city. When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety, outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. “Flee for your lives,” the angels told him. “And don’t look back. Escape to the mountains. Don’t stay down here on the plain or you will be swept away.” (Genesis 19:15-17)
No More Urgent Mission!
No mission is more urgent than to proclaim the Lordship of Christ over individuals and over society. With each passing year in the third millennium Pope Benedict XVI’s warning of 2010 becomes ever more evidently realistic:
“[O]ur world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function… This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk wherever its place, the place of moral reasoning, is taken by the purely instrumental rationality of which I spoke earlier. In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential… the most elementary rules of humanity collapse…the very future of the world is at stake.” (Pope Benedict XVI, December 20, 2010)
And, of course, the gravest danger, the ultimate danger, is the menace to the eternal salvation of souls by such an anti-Christian civilization.