Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Last Word of History

I was sitting out on the balcony the other night, just thinking and being because it was peaceful and cool outside. And you know those times, at the end of the day, when sort of everything and nothing starts running through your head all at once? Well, I was in that kind of a state of being; you know, drinking tea and being all hipster and waxing philosophic in my own brain.

Eventually all these whispers and rumors of "war" in the distance came to my mind and as I thought about all of it, I started to feel very small in this big world.

But eventually I thought about this quote I once read from our Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI:
Yet, in the sure knowledge that the Lord is risen, we are able to move forward confidently, in the conviction that evil does not have the last word in human history, and that God is able to open up new horizons to a hope that does not disappoint (cf. Rom 5:5).
We all saw images and read the story of the atrocities in Syria, and if we weren't aware already, we are now painfully aware of the horror that has been life in that country for two years now.  And I don't really care what your political views are or what you support - I've heard on every news channel and website that our country may be on the cusp of another war, and war is scary for everyone. Every time I check Twitter there's another breaking news story about another local shooting.  There's violence in our world, violence on our streets, violence in our homes. And if we take an honest look at ourselves, a lot of times there's violence in our own hearts. When you pause and think about it, the world sometimes appears irredeemable. It starts to feel like evil is going to have the last word.  As someone tweeted so eloquently the other day: "Jesus come back - before we blow this dang planet to pieces."

So I was thinking about all of that on the balcony, when everything was so quiet. What does it all mean, to be able to "move forward confidently"?  

It's certainly not that being a Christian makes me immune to danger and harm and physical death.  Take the martyrs as your Exhibit A.  Or merely the fact that, as CS Lewis said, "100 percent of us die, and that percentage cannot be increased."  

No; in the face of evil, Pope Benedict said that we move forward confidently, "in the sure knowledge that the Lord is risen."

Fellow Christians, it doesn't matter if the world appears irredeemable; Christ has redeemed it. We can sleep in peace at night, even with war rumbling in the distance, not because we can't die but because Christ is risen.  We know that physical death is not the greatest evil - nor is it the end.  We know that Christ is the Prince of Peace and in His Kingdom there will be no war, no oppression, no sin, and no more tears.  And we know this hope will not disappoint.

It doesn't mean we are excused from praying and working for peace here on Earth.  Definitely not! In fact, our sure knowledge and hope should lead us to a tireless pursuit and effort towards peace.

What it means is that we have nothing to fear. In the words of the late, great JPII: "Be not afraid!"  He has already won the battle. Love is stronger than death. And Love Himself - the Prince of Peace - and not evil, will have the last word of human history.

Mary, Queen of all nations, pray for us.

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