Daniel’s prayer still echoes in our faithful hearts today. Daniel 9:4-19 Pleading for God to have mercy upon his faithful people. Admitting and feeling sorrow for his sins and those of the people. Asking for forgiveness from God the Father. It reminds me about going to Confession, Pennance, and Divine Mercy.
In Daniel ch 10-12, his vision is of “A man dressed in linen, with a belt of pure gold round his waist: his body was like beryl, his face looked like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and his face had the gleam of burnished bronze, the sound of his voice was like the roar of a multitude.” An incredible sight, which would leave me as David – face down in fear. But this spirit touched him and gave him Strength and Courage to listen to his news. News from the Book of the Future. News which echoes again when Jesus speaks, many years later.
Take a moment to read these words, which looking upon them I am intrigued to wonder if we are IN THE END TIMES, and ARE WE PREPARED?
3 And while he was sitting on the Mount of Olives the disciples came and asked him when they were by themselves, 'Tell us, when is this going to happen, and what sign will there be of your coming and of the end of the world?'
4 And Jesus answered them, 'Take care that no one deceives you, 5 because many will come using my name and saying, "I am the Christ," and they will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for this is something that must happen, but the end will not be yet. 7 For nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All this is only the beginning of the birthpangs.
9 'Then you will be handed over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all nations on account of my name. 10 And then many will fall away; people will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise; they will deceive many, 12 and with the increase of lawlessness, love in most people will grow cold; 13 but anyone who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14 'This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole world as evidence to the nations. And then the end will come.
15 'So when you see the appalling abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains; 17 if anyone is on the housetop, he must not come down to collect his belongings from the house; 18 if anyone is in the fields, he must not turn back to fetch his cloak. 19 Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come! 20 Pray that you will not have to make your escape in winter or on a Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great distress, unparalleled since the world began, and such as will never be again. 22 And if that time had not been shortened, no human being would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen.
23 'If anyone says to you then, "Look, here is the Christ," or "Over here," do not believe it; 24 for false Christs and false prophets will arise and provide great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. 25 Look! I have given you warning. 26 'If, then, they say to you, "Look, he is in the desert," do not go there; "Look, he is in some hiding place," do not believe it; 27 because the coming of the Son of man will be like lightning striking in the east and flashing far into the west. 28 Wherever the corpse is, that is where the vultures will gather.
29 'Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven; then, too, all the peoples of the earth will beat their breasts; and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 'Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 So with you when you see all these things: know that he is near, right at the gates. 34 In truth I tell you, before this generation has passed away, all these things will have taken place. 35 Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 36 But as for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father alone.
37 'As it was in Noah's day, so will it be when the Son of man comes. 38 For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, 39 and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept them all away. This is what it will be like when the Son of man comes.
40 Then of two men in the fields, one is taken, one left;41 of two women grinding at the mill, one is taken, one left.
42 'So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.43 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house.44 Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 'Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy servant whom the master placed over his household to give them their food at the proper time?46 Blessed that servant if his master's arrival finds him doing exactly that.47 In truth I tell you, he will put him in charge of everything he owns.48 But if the servant is dishonest and says to himself, "My master is taking his time,"49 and sets about beating his fellow-servants and eating and drinking with drunkards,50 his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know.51 The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.'
Jesus goes on to explain the kingdom of Heaven in this parable of the 10 wedding attendants and the bridegroom.
He continues in Matthew Ch 25:31-46, giving us a clear description of WHOM MAY ENTER the Kingdom of Heaven.
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. 32 All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
34 Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, 36 lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me."
-Feed the hungry;
-Give drink to the thirsty;
-Clothe the naked;
-Shelter the homeless;
-Visit the sick;
-Visit the imprisoned;
-Bury the dead.
-Instruct the ignorant;
-Counsel the doubtful;
-Bear wrongs patiently;
-Forgive offences willingly;
-Comfort the afflicted;
-Pray for the living and the dead.
37 Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?"
40 And the King will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."
41 Then he will say to those on his left hand, "Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me." 44 Then it will be their turn to ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?" 45 Then he will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me." 46 And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.'
37 Jesus said to him, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second resembles it: You must love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.'
It would seem so simple to follow God’s Law. Love God. Love Neighbor. The rest of the commandments are obeyed by following these two. Follow that Golden Rule! I believe the tricky part is HOW we do it. HOW do we show our love of God? HOW do we show love to our neighbor? To have VIRTUE. That’s the part I’m working on, as I am certain we all are. And if we’re faithful, we just might get a chance to be a part of the End Times.
May you seek God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace this Lenten season.
Strive to know Him, love Him and serve Him in all you do.
Virtues Lessons for your family:
A poster: http://virtuesproject.com/Pdf/Poster.pdf
Books: Stories for Little Folks series by Nancy Nicholson
The Book of Virtues by William J Bennett
Someone I know talks a lot about this: