When I hear the word Apocalypse, typically I think of it following the phrase: “Zombie Horde.”
Perhaps it has been a steady diet of Resident Evil, or 28 Days Later. I imagine myself, shotguns in both my hands, blasting away at Zombies left and right.
Zombies are not just my own fascination, I remember Chicago had it’s own Zombie day (completely unrelated to Halloween), where students took a day, to zombie around town, after being locked up studying for weeks. I however, prefer to be on the other side of the shotgun from the zombie, barrel at his head… but maybe that’s just me. Yet, I doubt that I am alone strategizing a safety plan in the event of a worldwide biological catastrophe resulting in a Zombie invasion.
Zombies are not real you might be thinking. But, if you are sitting there in front of Facebook mezmerized, take a picture of yourself, and tell yourself that Zombies are not real.
As our technological capacity has increased dramatically within the past fifty years, scientists are working on microscopic levels that keep ethicists puzzled to the question of how all of these experiments could be detrimental to human dignity. The Zombie Apocalypse genre is certainly fed by the fears, of our Post Atomic Bomb world, that the splicing of the atom could be barreling us to unforeseeable harm. Science is no longer blindly excepted as our redemption, in fact it could be the very thing we would blame in a global biological catastrophe, or a genetic experiment gone wrong.
The Gospel Reading this week talks about Apocalypse, and Jesus does not mention Zombies. Or does he?
When I think end times, I think Zombie Apocalypse. For the Jews that Jesus spoke to, the destruction of the Temple was the end. The Sacred Temple, constructed by Solomon, symbolized an eternal covenant with David, and God’s chosen people, Israel. It’s destruction was a sign of the end. It would be only 40 years after Jesus death and Resurrection that the Temple would be destroyed for good, and all the Christians who read this for a century would have known exactly about that, in addition to the persecutions that he spoke of.
This is, in Biblical terms, Apocalyptic. This sort of thing happens all over Scripture; Daniel, and Revelations being the most popular pieces. Even the Gospels focus on the Apocalyptic during this time as our Liturgical year winds to a close. Things are darker outside, and night seems to overpower day. The Zombie Apocalypse seems ever closer, as we are worn down from a long year.
Jesus is speaking of the end seriously, because ends are a part of life. Death is essential to this world. We cannot pretend that it is not. Maybe we like Zombies so much, because it convinces us that death is not real. Yet, if we are so caught up in fascination with this life and this world, we will likewise be zombies.
Jesus offers an alternative on life: They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will speak, and refute, and stand up, and be faithful, in some way, because you clearly are not Zombies, you have the life of Christ in you.
So Jesus takes on the Zombie apocalypse, by giving us the gift of life. That gift of life transforms us. We experience that in our Baptism… Yet, that does not mean that some people do not turn into Zombies after being Baptized. I have seen Catholic Zombies much more Zombified then Zombies who have never known Truth. The only antidote to being a Zombie, I can say, is receiving Christ frequently in the Eucharist.
Zombies eat brains… We eat the true flesh of Christ.
Zombies eat you, and turn you into zombies… The Body of Christ, transforms us from glory into being Christlike.
Maybe I won’t need my shotgun… I’ll stick with the Eucharist.
If you are not having fun reading my post, try rereading it with a sense of humor. If you are having too much fun and missing the message, try rereading it with a sense of Gospel.