Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The
persecution of Christians tells us that Christ's over evil "is near", over "worldly
powers " for whom religion is a "private matter " and who forbid
worship of God.
At Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis spoke of the final struggle between God and Evil, which the end of year liturgy offers us in these days.
Vatican Radio reports that the Pope
spoke of a great danger: "universal temptation ." The
temptation to give in to the lure of those who want to defeat God, have the
better of those who believe in Him. But he who believes has a clear reference point
upon which to keep his gaze fixed. It
is the story of Jesus, with the trials endured in the desert and then the
"many" trials born in his public life , seasoned with " insults
" and " slander ," the extreme affront of the Cross , where,
however, the prince of the world loses his
battle before the resurrection of the Prince of Peace .
These passages show that the life of Christ in the final upheaval of the world, described in the Gospel, the stakes are greater than the drama represented by natural disasters . "When Jesus speaks of this calamity in another passage he tells us that it will be a profanation of the temple, a desecration of the faith of the people: it will be an abomination, the desolation of an abomination . What is that? It will be like the triumph of the prince of this world: the defeat of God. At that final moment of disaster, it will seem that he shall come upon this world, he will be the master of the world".
Here is the core of the "final test" : the desecration of faith. Which by the way is very clear in what the prophet Daniel suffers, in the story of the first reading : he is thrown to the lions for worshiping God rather than the king . Therefore , the "desolation of abomination" has a specific name , " the prohibition of worship."
"We can not talk about religion, it's a private thing , no? Do not speak of this publicly. Religious signs are removed. We must obey the orders of worldly powers. We can do many things, beautiful things, but not worship God. Prohibition of worship. This is the center of the end . And when we arrive at the fullness - the ' kairos ' of this attitude, when this pagan time has come- then yes , it will be Him: ' And they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory ' . Christians who suffer persecution, prohibition of worship are a prophecy of what will happen to us all . "
Yet , when the " time of the Gentiles are fulfilled" is the time to raise your heads, because the "victory of Jesus Christ" is near. "We should not be afraid , He only asks us for faithfulness and patience. Faithful like Daniel, who was faithful to his God and worshiped God until the end. Patience, so that the hair of our head will not fall off . Thus the Lord has promised . This week we would do well to think of this general apostasy , which is called the prohibition of worship and ask: 'Do I adore the Lord ? Do I adore Jesus Christ, the Lord, or only a little, 'half and half, I play the game of the prince of this world ? ' . Worshiping until the end, with the trust and faithfulness: this is the grace that we ask this week. "