Daily office Readings for Friday of the 5th Week of Epiphany: Year 1
“You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!” (2nd Timothy 3:1 to 5
Are we now in those distressing times that Paul was telling Timothy about in his 2nd letter? It sure sounds like it. There are plenty of self-loving boasters everywhere. People have now spread their abusive, unholy and reckless ways even through social media and other forms of modern communications.
Some let this sad side of themselves be made manifest because of some feeling of anonymity. We forget that God, and the court of heaven, the saints who have gone before us are standing beside us always. Angels don’t come to us. With God’s permission, they reveal themselves to us. Many times in scripture we read that “an angel appeared.” The angel didn’t arrive, but rather, became visible. In our own last days we will see the court of heaven.
I have been with people during their last days of earthly life and caught them looking at something in the hospital room that I, nor anyone else could see; often the look on their face was one of amazement. Paul was perhaps talking about something on a universal scale that he thought was coming very soon during his day. But Paul himself is a witness that our Lord Jesus “appeared” to him while he was traveling to Damascus and this manifestation changed him forever.
My beloved of the Lord, we are never alone. We are being watched always. And judgment will come. Each of us should try to articulate at least a simple statement of belief to live by. I have. I will share it now: “I Trust in the Creating Word through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word, in whom we live and move and love and have our being, and to whom we must give an account.”
I don’t think we are alone as we live out our lives. I don’t believe we are judged harshly for the thoughts that we may have from time to time. However, we are judged by the words and acts that come from us because of such thoughts. I use the DUST reminder to help me stay disciplined. DUST stands for Don’t Unnecessarily Share Thoughts. We might have unholy thoughts from time to time but we should strive to keep them quiet. And maybe with prayer and practice we might get to a place where we won’t have such thoughts at all. Praise Jesus.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John