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by Fr. Joe Landi, Editor of the San Francisco Charismatics
Dear Diary...There seems to be some new twist on the Y2K problem almost daily. The problem, over-simplified, is the inability of many computers to change to the year 2000 from 1999. I can't resist giving you my own twist.
|Out of the World and Into the Kingdom--Fr. Joe Landi's journey to priesthood by Rissa Singson||
Fr. Joe Landi
(Ctrtl-End) See the end of the article for suggested readings on this subject.
You might ask, "Who caused the Y2K dilemma that has gotten so much press?" Was it someone in the 50's at Big Blue, the guy that did not have a Packard in his garage, the one with the billion-dollar Seattle home, or was it that guy who didn't finish eating his apple? Or perhaps todays high-tech advancementslike computerswere a gift of aliens, as one new twist suggests. (If so, they must be using a different calendar and 1999 suffices for them.)
The truth is that it was none of the above. It was a conspiracy. Not programming computers to read the year 2000 was intentional. Those bright humans who first designed computer systems did it on purpose. Think about it. Doesn't it speak to you of good old-fashioned American ingenuity--building into the product its obsolescence? Where there is money to be made, American know-how will find a way to make more. Obviously, there is money to be made in forcing the consumer to buy the newer more colorful computers that can tell time in the 2000-year range. I refuse to believe that the geniuses who designed such complex systems could also be aliens with a time difference or Silicon Village Idiots thinking that the world was going to end on December 31, 1999. So, it had to be intentional.
Therefore, don't panic. Stay calm. The world will not end on December 31, 1999--nor did it on December 31, 999, as predicted. California is not going to have a major earthquake and drop off into the Pacific Ocean, as predicted in the 60's. So don't sell your home and move to the mid-West. Nor will it be necessary to stockpile cash. Your credit card will work as well as ever on January 1, 2000. American ingenuity will see to it. I am as sure of that as I am that there will be people to watch those high-priced commercials on TV during the bowl games on January 1, 2000.
For me, the scary part of the Y2K Soap Opera is the millennial frenzy of the apocalyptic sects and their violent prophecies about the end of the world. There have always been gloom and doom purveyors, but the latest group of worrywarts from Colorado have given new meaning to the words, "Concerned Christians"--as they bizarrely term themselves. Talk about Rocky Mountain High. Their leader predicted that he would die in the streets of Jerusalem in December 1999 and reappear three days later. While I cannot predict with any certainty that he will not die there in December 1999, I can predict that if it should happen, the only place he will reappear three days later will be stone-cold dead in a mortuary.
Jesus Christ is the only person that I've read about who died and reappeared after three days. Yes, he said that he would return for us who believe and practice his way. Moreover, it seems highly improbable that he has returned as a wacko leader of a doomsday cult, convincing his followers to sell their homes and move because an apocalyptic disaster would destroy Denver on October 10, 1998. Unless its the best kept secret of the decade, there is still a there there in Denver. He is batting zero in the prediction game.
Jesus also predicted the end times. However, he preached end-times in the context of good-times to come for those who were marginalized from society. That is why it is called the "Good News" (Mat. 9:35 ff.). So if you fear that a squall will be rocking your boat around the turn of the century because you have no faith in our American ingenuity, have faith in Jesus. Instead of going to the Mount of Olives and waiting for his return on the first morning of 2000 AD, go to the poor, the homeless and the marginalized near you. Show them the Good News in action. Then when he does return, as he predicted, you can greet him with open arms and a joyful heart knowing that you put the talents he gave you to good works while he was gone. (See Parable of the Talents, Mat. 25:14ff.)
So now that you know what the insiders know,don't be fearful about the Y2K problem or the end of this century. Remember President FDRs good advice: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Jesus gives us even better advice. What he said to those who were frightened during the squall that tossed their boat around like a chip of wood on the Sea of Galilee is as appropriate for us today in our rocky little boat, as for his disciples then: "Get hold of yourselves!" (Mark 6:50) *Suggested reading on this subject::The Millennium : End of Time? a New Beginning? (1998--$8.76) by Alfred McBride available at our on-line book store. Click on the blue for more information about this book.
Landi is a Parochial Vicar at St. Cecilia Parish, San Francisco, the Archbishops
Liaison to the Charismatic Renewal, the editor of the San Francisco Charismatics and
Board Chair of the Sierra Point credit Union, South San Francisco, which now serves the
South San Francisco Community, parochial schools in San Mateo County, and the Charismatic
Renewal. Opinions expressed are his own.
The San Francisco Charismatics is a Member of the Catholic Press Association of the Unites States and Canada and is published monthly by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Office of the Charismatic Renewal.