The Perspective of Justice
A Frightening Picture
As we approach the end of the liturgical year, today’s liturgy paints a frightening picture of the end time: nation rising against nation, plagues and famines, fearful omens and great signs, persecutions and trials. The biblical “day of the Lord” will be a time “when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire.”
There is no biblical basis for a hope in inevitable progress. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that things will gradually get better until at last the kingdom is present, and in fact it is closer to the biblical truth to say that things will get worse before they get better.
Consider, for example, the matter of deaths caused by war: in the 18th century, about 4 million people died in wars; in the 19th century, about 8 million people died in wars; in the 20th century, nearly 100 million people died in wars.
We know that the Lord comes to rule the earth with justice. The scales will be balanced in the end, and in the meantime we must live out our faith that God’s plans for us are peace and not disaster.
In today’s world, including the world of economics, the prevailing picture is one destined to lead us more quickly toward death rather than one of concern for true development which would lead all toward a more human life.
John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987, paragraph 24
**From Saint Louis University