The Times We Live In
Jesus confronted the Pharisees and Sadducees and said that they could not read “the signs of the times” (Matt 16:1). Now, It is not always easy to know exactly where we are in history, but we can have a basic sense. Jesus’ enemies refused to see what was going on around them and to acknowledge the miracles and teachings of Jesus. In our case, we are living through unparalleled changes. Whole societies are in full flight from God and His word. Whole cultures (notably in the West) are embracing virtually every form of behavior which is anti-life and anti-God, and doing it with abandon, delight and pride. Like the people of the Babel, we want to build a secular city without any reference to God. We want to becomes gods. The aim is to remove the very last vestige of any God-given law or morality.
In fact, this is actually not “unparalleled.” In the earliest parts of Genesis, man had turned decisively against God. “Then the Lord saw that the evil of man was great on the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” After our embrace of sin in the Fall, evil grew and permeated every facet of the human mind. ‘Every thought continually…’
The law is simple: the more we open ourselves to evil, the more evil we become. Conversely, the more we embrace goodness, goodness also grows. Both holiness and evil have a dynamic character. Neither remain static. The more our society embraces evil, whether it be the killing of innocent life in the womb, the acceptance and normalization of all and any deviant behavior, the rejection of the –God-given nature of marriage or family, etc ., the more it opens itself up to even greater evil. In fact, it cannot stop itself. The thirst for more egregious behavior grows stronger with every new evil conquest. Society has to continue in its own moral decline to prove that it is in control and not God.
In Genesis, the result was the just judgment of God. He mercifully said that this rebellion against good would not continue forever. “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth” (Gen 6:6) and He sent the Flood. But even in the midst of this judgment, there was a provision for God’s people- the Ark which is the Church of the Lord. Today, as western societies jump with abandon into the avalanche of moral decay, there is still the Ark which God has still holds firm (“the gates of hell shall not prevail… ). This ark is a sign of contradiction. What she puts forth as truth stands in utter contradiction to the values and movements of society. The choice for each person could not be more stark. The difference between the Catholic Church and modern culture grows greater with every passing hour. While these days are dark, we can rejoice as did the early Christians. We have hope because we know the truth and we know that Jesus has left a Church where that truth will be proclaimed and lived until He comes again.