In today’s homily my parish’s priest discussed how the Old Testament gave hints about Jesus and his time among us. Given this, it seems appropriate for today’s shorter post to mention scripture that gives signs of things to come. I begin with the Prophet Joel:
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even upon the menservants and maidservants
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
30 “And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.
The passage above is a rare sign in the Old Testament of the promised Advocate, the Holy Spirit. Here is Jesus talking about the Spirit, which had yet to come:
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.
25 “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
(John 14:15-17, 25-26)
Finally, we have St. Paul also telling us what would come in the days ahead:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
(2 Timothy 4:1-4)
What is sad is that warnings like that most recent passage were commonplace throughout Scripture. Yet, at the same time, just as commonplace were instances were the “faithful” ignored those warnings, to their detriment. I suppose that is proof that it is easier for us to open our mouths than our hearts.