Sign of the times

15th October, 2018


Fr Emmanuel

Stripped of a Christian culture, today’s Christians can no longer rely on the general community’s values, the State, or Nation to represent them. Sadly and with great regret, Australia can no longer be regarded as a Christian country. But throughout the world also Christians are becoming increasingly marginalised as the early Christians were. Only in this age, it is much less apparent. Today’s Christians are encouraged by the community at large to keep their faith to themselves. The tolerance of today’s society in respect to matters of faith relies heavily on the principle of keeping one’s faith to one’s self which is the opposite of that instructed by Our Lord.

For the function of a light in a dark place is to light up that space that surrounds it. The light cannot be hidden but must assume its proper place in order to light up the surrounds. As Christ said “You are the light of the world. A city that is on a hill cannot be hidden” “Nor do they light up a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt.5:14)

The light is always surrounded by darkness but in the promised age to come those who have followed Christ and heard his voice will be totally surrounded by His eternal Light.


Though it is true that today’s Christians are not subjected to the physical torture of the early Christians, they are facing an increasingly hostile and alien community with which they have little in common in terms of values, but with which they must contend with. The paradox of our day is that though we are free to worship as we will, the community is hostile to the values that Christians uphold, which are apparent in the signs of our times and imbedded in the lifestyles of the people of this apostatic age. It can be said that we live in an age of many signs. These signs mainly communicate marketing and advertising interests. But for Christians there are other kinds of signs that they must be acutely aware of. These signs cannot be seen on the street nor can be identified through logos, yet they are real and we have been warned about their meaning and presence at the end time.

These are the signs that emanate from the age where the people that have turned away from God, either by their pre-occupation with other things, or by their active warring and indifference towards Christ, His Holy Church and the communion of the Saints. Though people have in the past turned away from God, this age is the age of the full revelation of the Holy Trinity and of the Risen and Ascended Lord. Steep and irrecoverable will be the descent of fallen humanity if it does not acknowledge Him who came to save us through the victory of life over death on the life giving Cross. The people of today’s world do not want to know of Christ’s suffering, His death and His ascent into Heaven for all humanity.

The signs therefore of this age are the signs of unrest, they are the signs of death that come from self-love, of greed and lawlessness. From this age we see the unspeakable and frightful realities of our time: the legalising of abortion, the legalising of prostitution, the lowering of the age of consent, sex before marriage, the acceptance of same sex marriages, the so called “coming out” of homosexuals under the banner of ‘pride’, yes pride which is known to be the source of all sin, so what is sought is the acceptance of sin but not that of repentance in order to be liberated from it, for we know that it is impossible to receive the Lord without repentance; the changing of sexual identity, drug addiction, the ordination of women, experimentation on human embryos, human cloning, weapons of mass destruction, violence, paedophilia, environmental degradation, the mass accrual of wealth in the hands of the few, the escalation of conflict between nations and ethnic groups, the rapidity of life, the erosion of family life, the high rate of divorce, broken homes, homelessness, euthanasia, youth suicide and so on.

“Woe to us if we do not run to the Lord. For Christ replaces this age with peace, joy and eternity with His own sign. The sign of the life giving Cross to bring to us Light and Life.”

A popular view among journalists and many people is that technology is outstripping the capacity for humanity to deal with the critical moral and ethical issues involved.  But this observation can only be made where people have no relationship with God.  It is not that technology is racing ahead, but that morality is lagging behind or rather no longer considered valid.  Morality is perceived as some kind of hindrance, or some irrational subjective interference.  People want open choices no matter what, they want open choices without reference to God.  So it is not that technology is racing ahead but that people have turned technology into a god where solutions might be found to life’s problems.  But technology is a human instrument, it seeks material perfection through objectivity and scientific inquiry.  It is our choice to steam ahead with technology whilst ignoring issues of morality by turning our lives away from God.  This obsession with technology to solve our problems is about placing our faith in an earthly kingdom and not the Heavenly Kingdom whom Christ calls us to.  The latter requires us to acknowledge and respect the existence of the soul and spiritual world.

But the signs of evil will not be allowed to prevail on the earth and they will culminate in a great battle on that great day when Our Lord will come again in His Great Glory.  “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.  ‘Behold, I am coming as a thief.  Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.’ ” (Rev. 16:14-15)

The community at large is no longer comfortable with morals and the sense of morality from which decisions can be made.  References to morality is being viewed as dirty and unacceptable and reserved only for bigots.  What is being valued now is cold, hard-headed, rational and analytical approaches to life which denies the real predicament of humanity and our relationship with God.

The greatest sign of hope and victory for humanity is the divine love that saw Christ die on the Cross for us, the sign of our salvation.  By this we shall be protected, by this sign we shall live forever.

Fr Emmanuel

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