An indestructible conviction sustained the faith of Jesus’ followers from the beginning: encouraged by God, human history is heading toward its definitive liberation. The unbearable contradictions of being human and the horrors that are committed in all ages won’t destroy our hope.
This world that sustains us isn’t definitive. The day will come when all creation will give «signs» that it has reached its end, in order to make way for a new and freed life that none of us can imagine or understand.
The Gospels gather a remembrance of one reflection Jesus made about this end of all times. Paradoxically his attention isn’t focused on the «cosmic happenings» that could occur in that time. His main objective is to propose to his followers a way of living lucidly when that happens.
The end of history isn’t chaos, the destruction of life, final death. Slowly, in the midst of light and darkness, listening to the call of our heart or not listening to what’s best within us, we go walking toward the final mystery of the reality we believers call «God».
We mustn’t go about trapped by fear or anxiety. The «last day» isn’t a day of wrath and vengeance, but of liberation. Luke continues Jesus’ thinking with these admirable words: «Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand». Only at that point will we truly know how God loves the world.
We need to revive our trust, raise up our courage, and awaken our hope. One day the financial powers will collapse. The senselessness of the powerful will end. The victims of so many wars, crimes and genocides will know life. Our efforts for a more human world won’t be lost forever.
Jesus pushes on to shake up his followers’ consciences: «Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life». Don’t live like idiots. Don’t let yourselves be swayed by frivolity and excess. Keep indignation alive. «Stay awake». Don’t let your guard down. Live lucidly and responsibly. Don’t wimp out. Always keep the pressure on.
How are we living out these times, so hard for almost all of us, stressful for many, and cruel for those sunk in powerlessness? Are we awake? Are we sleeping? From the midst of our Christian communities we need to strengthen indignation and hope. And there’s only one path: be with those who end up with nothing, drowning in hopelessness, rage and humiliation.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf