In all the other years of my life, even ones that were less than great, I haven’t taken much notice of the Scripture passages we read as we came to the end of the liturgical year. That’s not to say I was oblivious but the end of days seemed too fantastical and far off to cause me much interior unsettledness. After this year, though, I suspect we are all sitting up a little straighter in the pews. What if this is it? What if this is the beginning of the end? Perhaps the sickles are soon to be swung across the earth separating the saints and the sinners. Maybe the destruction of the temple is upon us. Our nation is rising against itself, there were a record number of wildfires, a record number of tropical storms, and some weird clouds of dust that blew over from Africa.
I’ve posed this question to my husband several times this year as bad thing kept following bad thing. The poor man shook his head because he doesn’t share my embrace of memento mori, that is, the remembrance of one’s own death.
For a while, I secretly kind of hoped it was the start of end days. It’s been a tiring year of wave after wave of events that make me want to crawl back under the covers in the morning. Let’s be done with it, I thought. But I’m reminded of some wise words from St. Paul in his letter to the Romans. “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts” (Rom 5:5) and “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom 5:20).
As we hear about the end of the world in our liturgical readings, I suspect this isn’t it and that’s ok. I could be wrong, and that’s ok too. There’s much we don’t know and the uncertainty is hard for many of us. What we do know is that we must remain hopeful. We will die one day and the world will end one day. As Christians we deal with that through the virtue of hope in eternal joy with God in heaven. Our time here on earth is tiny compared to our time in eternity. Hope in this reality will not disappoint us.
We find further comfort knowing that even though there is a lot of sin and ugliness right now and it may feel bleak, God will shower us in grace. And in the end, whether we’re talking about our life, our world or just this rotten time, it’s going to be ok. Have hope and pray for grace. It really is going to be ok.
Merridith Frediani’s perfect day includes prayer, writing, unrushed morning coffee, reading, tending to dahlias, and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three kids. She loves finding God in the silly and ordinary. She writes for Ascension Press, Catholic Mom, and her local Catholic Herald in Milwaukee. Her first book Draw Close to Jesus: A Woman’s Guide to Eucharistic Adoration is expected to be released summer 2021. You can reach her at email@example.com
Feature Image Credit: Rory Hennessey, https://unsplash.com/photos/FQxII3eqkJk