We were discussing the end of the world and the Second Coming at my Lay Dominican chapter meeting a couple of weeks ago, as is fitting for this time of year, and one of the things we discussed were the Dispensationalist notions of the Rapture, the Millennium, and the Tribulation, and what it means to be a pre-Millennialist, a post-Millennialist, or an a-Millennialist. Most of the members of my chapter are cradle Catholics and haven’t been exposed to these notions, so it was quite educational for them. And then, of course, we discussed what Catholics believe about these things, and how we should think of the End of Days. Some of our members were getting quite caught up in looking for signs that indicate that the End of the World is near.
Truckism has one doctrine: if I get hit by a truck, it’s the end of the world—at least, so far as I’m concerned. If the UPS van takes me out as I’m crossing the street to get the mail, that’s it. Game over, no replays. If a semi decides to get up close and personal on the freeway, I’m all done.
Sudden death can happen to me any day, and does actually happen to over 100,000 people every day. I need to be prepared for that, each and every day; it would be horrible to die unprepared.
The End of the World hasn’t happened even once, yet. The most likely probability, then, is that I’m going to die before the End of the World.
But it doesn’t really matter; if I’m prepared for the one, I’m prepared for the other. Either way, I want to be ready to stand before my maker.