EACH ONE’S DECISION
Jesus didn’t spend much time talking about eternal life. He didn’t try to deceive anyone by coming up with fantastic descriptions of life beyond the grave. However his whole life awakens hope. He goes about easing suffering and freeing people from fear. He transmits complete confidence in God. His passion is to bring about a life that is more human and full of happiness for all, just as the Father of all wants.
It’s only when a group of Sadducees comes along and brings up the idea of how ridiculous it is to believe in the resurrection, that Jesus draws forth from his believing heart the conviction that sustains and energizes his whole life: God «isn’t a God of the dead, but of the living, for to God everyone is alive».
His faith is simple. It’s true that we mourn for our loved ones because, when they die, we have lost them here on earth; but Jesus can’t imagine that for God these children whom God loves so dearly would remain dead. That can’t be. God shares life with them because God has welcomed them into fathomless love.
The feature that is most disturbing about our age is the crisis of hope. We have lost sight of the horizon of a final Future, and the small hopes of this life end up not consoling us. This vacuum of hope is generating the loss of trust in this life for all too many people. Nothing is worth it. That’s why absolute nihilism comes so easy.
In these times of hopelessness, believers and non-believers alike aren’t asking anyone the most radical questions that we have inside ourselves, are we? This God that many may doubt, that so many have abandoned, and about whom others are asking questions – won’t this God be the final basis on which we can support our radical trust in life? At the end of every path, underneath all our dreams, in the depths of our questions and struggles: won’t God be the final Mystery of salvation that we go about seeking?
Faith has ended up for us at this place: cornered somewhere within us, like something of little importance, something that isn’t worth the effort to take care of in these times. Is that right? It certainly isn’t easy to believe, but it is hard to not believe. Meanwhile, the final mystery of life is asking us for a clear and responsible answer.
This answer is each one’s decision. Do I want to wipe out of my life every final hope beyond the grave as a false illusion that doesn’t help us to live? Do I want to stay open to the final Mystery of existence, trusting that there we will find the answer, the welcome and the fullness that we go about seeking from this point on?
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf