Saturday, April 28, 2018
What will the Last Times be like?
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. – Joel 2:28-29
Joel was a Hebrew prophet who wrote somewhere between the 9th century BC and the 5th century BC. Luke has Joel quoted in his Acts of the Apostles. This passage is very popular among those on the Christian Right. And enigmatically, very popular among those on the Christian Left. But as with so many matters, this passage leads them to differing understandings.
Yet both perspectives have this in common: they both focus on the return of Christ and they both focus on the changing of the world as we know it. Those on the Christian Right see it as a dramatic moment when Christ returns, the Christian Left as a patient arrival when Christ finally and fully emerges. Yet all understand that involves the coming of the Spirit in the dreaming of dreams and the envisioning of visions. But are the dreamers dreaming? Are the envisioners envisioning?
This contemplative life of Christian discipleship, this living out the life of the prayerful servant, has drawn into my humanity a deeper experience of the Spirit. No, not with the manifestations of the charismatic movement, but rather with dream and vision of Joel. The Spirit fills me with dreams and visions not of the past but of the future, the way life could be and not the way life was. The Spirit fills me with dreams of how heaven and earth can function as one, not a journey into despair but a journey of hope. The Spirit fills me visions of the latent possibility that has been struggling to make itself known.
Yes, the prophecy of Joel is being fulfilled, not in the doomsayers, but in the dreamers.
Always in His Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz