Thursday, March 31, 2011

May 21st-The End of the World? Not!

All of the talk, discussion and articles about the end times coupled with the recent catastrophic events in Japan is unnerving. Certainly, the photographs and images of the extensive damage in parts of Japan and the horrific suffering and deaths of so many innocent people is apocalyptic, in some sense. The nuclear crisis in Japan is still not contained and who knows how much contamination there really is and how the population will be affected. Sadly, many Japanese people (and children) are living a nightmare, living in shelters, living with fear. My heart (and my prayers) goes out to them.
But is the world coming to an end? I doubt it. Most theologians would agree these are not the end times we are living through. It is a trying, anxiety-filled historical time for many, however, that's obvious to anyone who watches the news or reads newspapers.
Strangely, there is a group of "biblical devotees" who claim they've figured out that the world will come to an end in 2011 (not 2012 as many others claim). They are even going so far as paying for a billboard campaign warning people of the coming Judgment Day, which they believe will begin on May 21st with a huge earthquake.
According to an article I read titled, "Save the Date! Billboard Campaign Reminds Angelenos the End of Everything Is Coming," "Yesterday, KPCC's Patt Morrison spoke with Harold Camping from Family Radio, who explained that his group's research offered 'proofs and signs from the Bible' that 'judgment will be finalized' for the believers and non-believers in Jesus and that process will take five months, culminating in the ultimate end of everything on October 21st. 'We've come to the end of everything,' says Camping. That's a very scary wonder what children think when they see billboards or hear discussions about that strange prediction.
In my opinion, I don't think it's right to put more fear and anxiety in people than they are already dealing with. It's hard enough for some people to get through the day, feed their families and worry about the economy and then you have predictions like this......
The Bible says that God is a merciful God and God says, "Fear not I am with you, Always...."
"I hold you in the palm of my hand..."
May is a month devoted to Mary in the Catholic tradition. The Church honors Mary with many Marian devotions during May. It's a holy month, with thousands of First Holy Communions, Confirmations, May Crownings and the recitations of Rosaries throughout the world. I doubt highly that there could be a judgment day in May. All the money spend on billboards announcing warnings of doomsday, which can frighten children and some adults, could have been better spent on the poor, the homeless and the environment.
Humankind needs to worry about human pride, pride is one of the deadly sins and it's doing real damage in our world.