MK 13: 24-32




At the very least, I can count four loved ones who passed away this year; two close family members and two dear friends and parishioners. These add to the list of family and friends who did succumb to the ravages of the pandemic. These years are dreadful years… years of tears…


What is happening around us today is a global reminder that the earth we live i has its limits. Even the knowledge we rely on to solve problems has its boundaries. Human strength reaches the point of exhaustion. Resources can be depleted. Everything has an end. Death is inevitable.


At the beginning of the pandemic, it was said that this event occurs within a cycle of roughly a hundred years. So how did people survive the plagues and epidemics of the past? It brought them to their knees. They became more receptive to the message of the Gospel. They heard with clarity and believed with faith the words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass…” Yes, people turned to faith, they reformed their lives, put order to their communities, they combined natural and spiritual resources to combat the devastation around them.


In our day, the spiritual component is not as heightened. We found many ways of adjusting our lives to the turmoil of the season. Education found a new platform; politicians exploited the situation; scientists racked their brains for a vaccine; ordinary people took to the internet to entertain themselves while in lockdowns.


Thankfully, there were still others who found the solution to their survival in the Lord. As the pandemic reached its peak, there was noticeable growth in spiritual interest, even in social media. Preaching, Masses, Bible readings, worship services flooded the internet. People found meaning in the assurance that though everything else can collapse, we can hang on to the promises of the Lord.


In certain areas, it was also discovered that in the time of greatest difficulty, Christians responded with the greatest generosity. People realized that when the end comes, there is nothing earthly that you can bring to your grave. Heaven and earth will pass away, but his words alone will endure.


This week let us pray and reflect on how the end of our dear ones’ lives, the limits of structures, or the inadequacy of human power inspired us to put our faith in God, to deepen our relationship with him, and to reform our way of relating with each other.


fr tam nguyen, photo (thanks)