During Advent we look forward to the coming of our Savior, and we reflect on how much we need a Savior. We recognize that our problems will not be solved from within the resources and systems of this world. If God does not intervene from “outside” we have no hope.
There have been times when even God’s people imagined that we could do great things on our own. From 1980 till fairly recently we held on to a spirit of optimism and confidence in things of our own making, our Constitution, our work ethic, the American dream, the bloom of mega-churches, science, technology and the god of Progress.
There have always been prophets trying to get our attention. Their message always makes more sense after it is too late.
Look at these words from Pope John Paul written in 1976. Those of you who were alive and conscious then, cast your mind back on what those days were like, and how strange this message must have sounded. In 2013 it seems much more apropos:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think the wide circle of the American Society, or the wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully.
We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the anti-christ. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously……
We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ. With your and my prayers, it is possible to mitigate the coming tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectually renewed.
How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from the shedding of blood? This time too, it will not be otherwise.
This quote came to me by email on the same day as this video.
Now more than ever we must commit ourselves to Christ and to each other. God is giving us the privilege of shining for Him at this time, come what may.