Contrary to one's initial impression, vigilance is not the main theme of Jesus' parables of "absence and expectation." Absence is central to these stories, because it is absence which enriches them, rather than impoverishing them. Absence is not a shortage, a gap, or a sign of non-existence—it is a catalyst.
Virtually every civilization has been characterised by religious beliefs about the end of all things, not least about the timing and the conditions that precede the end, and signs of its imminence. There are many differences between these beliefs across civilisations, but many similarities too.
The image of an apocalypse generated by a microscopic coronavirus has been sketched more than once by the press in the past few weeks.
I am not an expert on the phenomenon of death. But like all of us, I have to live in its shadow, and watch the restlessness and greed it causes. The same gloomy reports that circle the planet also reach me. I feel especially conscious of this as COVID-19 claims its first victims in my country.
Any large-scale phenomenon, such as a pandemic, activates our instinct to preserve our state of being—especially when we feel like we are losing it.
I thought to myself: Is there an alarm or is it an end of day signal?
As the crisis caused by the new coronavirus deepened and spread, it was to be expected that the phenomenon would be framed in apocalyptic terms. It is something that tends to occur in such contexts.
Since the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic, many people are asking faith-based questions. Is this a judgment of God on the human race? Is this a sign of the End? Does Bible prophecy speak about it? Even if people don’t believe in God or the Bible, they are wondering what their Christian neighbors are thinking about the matter.
These days we all need to hear good news—that life will soon return to normal and that we will be able to return to the troubles of yesterday, which now seem small to us. In the meantime, our lifestyle has seen changes that we could not have imagined just a few weeks ago.