By Mary Boneno, Catholic University
There’s a lot going on in the world. A global pandemic. Racial injustice. Civil unrest. Natural disasters. All of these events can lead many of us to fall into despair. Many others believe that we are certainly in the end times.
But I’d like to step back for a moment and first acknowledge that if we are in the end times, we need not fear. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This is notably the most quoted verse of Scripture, but it is the most believed? It is certainly easy to get caught up in the panic and dread of the unknown, but we must remember to trust in Providence and the saving hand of our Lord.
However, I think to fully believe that this is the apocalypse can be dangerous in many respects. First, in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus tells His disciples to “stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13). Therefore, we should always be vigilant. If there’s one good that comes out of all of this, I pray that all of us will open our eyes to the need to be spiritually prepared at all times, no matter what is happening in the world. However, this is not to mean we should start preaching that tomorrow is the day of judgment. We cannot play God nor figure out His plan, no matter how hard we try to read into Scripture and current events.
We must be prepared, not because we know the plan, but precisely because we do not.
Secondly, history is full of horrible world events. The bubonic plague. The Reign of Terror. The entire 20th century: two deadly world wars; economic depression; nuclear bombs; Hitler; Stalin; Mao. This is not to invalidate the suffering we may currently be experiencing, but to claim that somehow our current situation is so out of the ordinary that the end times must certainly be near is a rather hasty judgment. And in some cases it’s a bit selfish too: this is the worst thing that has happened to me, therefore it must be the final test. But as we’ve seen, history is riddled with crime and injustice and plague and instability.
But throughout it all, God has remained faithful.
No matter what you think of all the events going on in the world, it is most important to remember that despair is the one unforgivable sin. Granted, I could be wrong about all of this. Jesus Christ could very well come in the next day. But as stated before, we cannot know. But what we can and do know is that His Passion and Death has saved us; we need only to submit to His goodness and trust in His promise of eternal life. We must be at peace in the knowledge that His Most Sacred Heart, united with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will triumph in the end.
Place yourself with your anxieties and fears in His Heart, and He will wash them away with His Precious Blood. Cling to the Cross. No matter what happens in the world, He will be faithful. Will you?
Edited by: GraceAnne Sullivan