Various posts on social media repeat the story of an asteroid crashing into Earth on May 6, bringing about the end of the world. Will it really be the end of time? Two priests respond to this concern.
Social media posts refer to asteroid 2009 JF1, which is about 10 meters in diameter.
Despite the fact that various media, including the Spanish newspaper La Razón, considered the story as an alleged threat to the destruction of our planet, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) did not issue a warning. nor communicated on his alleged threat. dangerousness.
According to NASA, this asteroid has a 0.00074% chance of hitting Earth.
Despite zero scientific evidence of a possible end of the world caused by this asteroid, there are still those who are fascinated by these doomsday scenarios, so two priests spoke about it.
Speaking to ACI Prensa, Dominican priest Fray Nelson Medina, doctor of fundamental theology from the Milltown Institute in Dublin (Ireland), stressed that the fall of this asteroid “is not an event that we should be worried about”.
“On the contrary, what we have to worry about comes from this other question: Why these announcements of disasters, when the scientific data does not support it at all?”
“What is it in the hearts of so many people that makes them so inclined to admit and spread this kind of news? Are there particular interests of people who, out of pleasure or mental illness, disseminate, exaggerate, this kind of information?
The priest underlined that even if “I would leave these questions open”, what “seems important to me is to ask ourselves the other question: in the face of these situations of destruction, what does our faith tell us?
The Doctor of Fundamental Theology emphasized that “our lives are governed by Divine Providence. And that means the Providence of an infinitely wise, infinitely powerful and infinitely compassionate God.”
“If we want to think about the end of humanity, whether because of an asteroid or for another reason, Christ invites us to a healthy prudence, and to great humility: No one knows the day nor the ‘time,’ he said.
Fray Nelson emphasized that “this frank expression of Our Lord must be sustained. Don’t diminish it, don’t dissolve it, don’t twist it. Christ says: neither the day nor the hour is known”.
This, he clarified, “is not an invitation to irresponsibility, but it is even less an invitation to panic”.
Also, the priest said, “it must become a call to our responsibility as believers.”
“If, as believers, we give it strength, we give wings to dubious or even false information, not only is the information discredited, and not only those who spread this information are discredited, but the faith, faith itself is discredited.
“To say scientifically ridiculous things does a great deal of harm to the faith, because it presents our faith as the content of minds, of brains which do not understand basic scientific knowledge, or which deviate from it without any basis”, has he declared.
Brother Nelson recalled that, as “As so many popes have said, both faith and reason are gifts from God.”.
“And, therefore, far from being in conflict, they invite us to recognize everywhere the magnificence of the divine work and the imprint of his providence”, he indicated.
For his part, Fr. Mario Arroyo, Doctor of Philosophy from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and Professor at the Pan American University in Mexico City, pointed out that people present “conjunctural concern” for “the end of the world and any pretext is sought”.
After pointing out that due to the small dimensions of the asteroid, this is an “almost ridiculous” concern, the important “is to point out why this concern”.
“First, we are aware of our finitude, our vulnerability, our precariousness, even more with the recent pandemic that we have suffered,” he said.
“But these concerns, however superficial, should cause us to reflect on the ultimate character of human life. It is indeed the world will end, that this world in which we live is not final, it is not permanent“, he said.
Fr. Arroyo recalled that human beings “are transient, we are travellers, walkers and this world too is transitory and, as Saint Paul points out, aspires to the manifestation of the children of God. All creation is subject to sin and anxiously awaits the release of God’s children.
The Mexican priest indicated that for Christians “the thought of the end of the world, rather than terrifying us or producing useless panic, must make us consider precisely the finitude of our life and make us look up at the other life, this life which does not pass, which knows no sunset, which knows no end.
“And for this reason, from these cyclical concerns about the end of the world, we must derive spiritual fruit,” he stressed.
That fruit, he pointed out, can be “to realize that this world is not final, that our final home is Heaven, eternal life.”
“We long for this end of the world, because we know that Jesus will do justice to itbecause there, God is going to give what he deserves to each of the people”, he said, stressing that in addition “we have the certainty that eternal life is a life that does not end and in which he there is no pain, there is no sickness and there is no death.
“That is why, rather than worrying about the end of the world, we must be ready to give reason to our hopeto give reason to God with our life whenever he wants to call us,” he said.