When the movie 2012 reached our cinemas, many people were intrigued by the Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end in the year 2012. We are now at the threshold of 2012. There are a number of ‘December 21 2012’ predictions about the end of the world. Some say that on an ancient Mayan calendar 2012 points to the end of the world: they pick December 21 2012 as the exact day because that’s when the calendar ends. Others speak of a Nostradamus 2012 doomsday prediction.
In fact this is not something new to our world. Every time there is a natural disaster or war breaks out, there are people who are quick to point out that the end is near. Society reacts differently to such predictions. Some become so engrossed in such predictions that their lives become crippled. Others are indifferent towards it and choose to live their lives to the fullest.
In our liturgy, the season of Advent always talks about the second coming of Christ and calls us to be vigilant. As the hymn goes, awake from your slumber, arise from your sleep…, is a reminder that we are always called to be ready. This does not mean that we should be crippled by fear. In fact, when we were at the threshold of the new millennium, Blessed John Paul II often used these words, Do not be afraid! It is true that we do not know what the future holds for us but the assuring words of Jesus should always be before our eyes.
As we prepare to enter into a new year, there are many uncertainties. With rising costs of living, declining world economy, political uncertainty…many people are skeptical about the future. People are now more concerned not about the final destruction of mother earth, but more importantly how their lives will be affected by these new realities that are brought upon by the greed of many people. This, however, is not the time to panic but our faith gives us the assurance we can always rely on Jesus. I am reminded of the gospel account where Jesus was in the boat with his disciples when a great storm confronted them. The disciples thought Jesus did not care for them but in the end it was a great lesson of trust. This passage has reminded the church through the centuries that God is always close to his people even when we are confronted by challenges.
Predictions about the end will continue to confront us because the human mind has a great fascination about the unknown and such predictions will draw a great following whether in the form of a novel or movie…..do not be afraid!