How It All Ends
Monday, August 24, 2020
So many things seem to be on the fast train to hell at the moment that it came into my head to look into the Apocalypse. Not some “apocalyptic” film or novel – the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament and, therefore, the conclusion of Holy Scripture.
It’s understandable that people don’t pay much attention to the Apocalypse. Most of us vaguely know that it says someday it’s all going to break bad, cosmically bad. Who wants to think about that?
Despite being God’s last written communication to us, for a casual reader, it’s a strange text, not easy to take in. Some of the more overheated evangelicals relish its wilder side, and “the Rapture” too, of course, and much else that can’t help making a sober Catholic wary.
But that’s far from being the whole story of the Apocalypse. I’ve often disagreed with public stances of South Africa’s Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu. He’s absolutely right, though, in what he’s said about Revelation: “I’ve read the end of the book. . . .We win.” More accurately, God wins, but if you think you’re in – or at least hope someday to be in – His fold, it comes to much the same thing.
Terrible events are symbolically foreshadowed before this world ends in the Apocalypse, even more terrible than COVID-19, rioting, and presidential elections. If you think we have it rough now, look at the deadly plagues, rampaging Beast, the cosmic Dragon, and Satanic assaults that Scripture talks about as it wraps up. It makes Tolkien look like an amateur.