Malachi is the last book of Old Testament. It is only 3 chapters long and addresses the day of judgment on the Last Day. Malachi means “my messenger,” a pseudo name to protect author from retribution by the authorities. Malachi criticizes those who are giving bad societal leadership – especially the priests. The last day will not be a happy day for those who choose against God’s ways, but it will be a very happy day for those who have suffered and persevered in the faith while they endured evil.
This Gospel passage addresses the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. When the Roman armies came to attack Jerusalem, it has been estimated that millions of Jews were killed. This tragedy was a preview to the end of time when the New Jerusalem prophesies will be fulfilled. The expectation of a military Messiah was permanently dashed.
Jesus speaks of the Church’s many trials before the 2nd coming. The Acts of the Apostles gives many such accounts. Yet all of these persecutions serve as a means to spread the faith. Even religious deceptions offering solutions to problems will serve to refine the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus only asks that we be faithful to Him as we go through all these trials. Our faithfulness to God will suffice to help us defend the faith by God faithfully supplying what we need to say in His behalf. He will use us as instruments so we need not worry or even prepare. These trials may become so severe that even our family members may betray us. We simply need to patiently endure what comes our way because the one who abides in God has absolute confidence. Even childlike fear gives way to reverent boldness.
One who accepts Jesus with living faith and a hope of overcoming evil, appreciates the value of good threatened by evil as an opportunity to apply one’s faith so that God, Who can do all things, will come to the rescue.
Are we asking God to increase our faith? This is a very important prayer because faithfulness becomes a guarantee of our salvation especially when we face hardship and danger. The Church calendar is coming to an end. The Scriptures now point to the final things – death, judgment, heaven or hell.
Many people believed, including Paul at one time, that the Day of Judgment was imminent. Some stopped working to prepare themselves. Having nothing to do, they became freeloaders living off other people’s labor (“charity”) and became quick to criticize others. To put an end to this perversion of the faith, Paul says, “Anyone who would not work should not eat.” That is, they need to return to their jobs and support themselves.
The end of time may not be in our lifetime, but we are certain that our lives will come to an end.
How are we preparing for it? Do we recognize that sin separates us from God? Do we pray for the salvation of our family members? With this poor economy and a grid-locked Congress, it is easy to get discouraged and to forget to ask God to help us. Our personal problems are heavy, but we need to not forget that with God nothing is impossible.
Heaven is a beautiful reality, but hell is a terrible possibility. Let us offer the tensions of this life in reparation for our sins by choosing not to sin. Let us ask God to fortify us in this hedonistic world. Let us pray for our political leaders so we can live in peace. Let us pray for the conversion of all sinners.