Some eschatological considerations
By Fr. Roy Cimagala
We should not be surprised that as we end the liturgical year, the readings of the Mass these days focus on the end times. They are not meant to scare us but rather to encourage us to be properly prepared and to really lock our attention on what are truly essential in our life. This is when we have to make what we can refer to as some eschatological considerations.
We have to examine ourselves on how prepared we are to meet our death, which some saints have affectionately called as “Sister Death,” because if we go by our Christian faith, death is actually just a transition from our earthly life of being created and redeemed by God to our definitive eternal life with God who wants to share his life with us, we being his image and likeness, his children.
Talking about proper preparation, we have to realize that this is none other our spiritual preparedness. It is what gives us the full picture of our life and destiny, opening ourselves to a supernatural life with God. We are no mere creatures of nature. We have been made in the image and likeness of God, elevated to be children of his in Christ.
Our spiritual preparedness takes us to a higher ground, giving us a glimpse of what is beyond our human horizons and natural limits. This is not to mention the corrections it will make to our inadequate if not erroneous understanding of our life here on earth.
It affords us an apocalyptic worldview, because it unveils and reveals, which is what apocalypse means, the true meaning and purpose of our life. In other words, with this kind of preparedness, anything can happen in the world, and we can still manage to come out safe and sound, in the ultimate sense of the words.
As a consequence of pursuing our spiritual preparation, we need to learn how we can relate our earthly and temporal concerns to our ultimate spiritual and supernatural goal. In short, we have to know how to connect time with eternity.
We have to overcome our narrow-mindedness or blindness with respect to the spiritual and supernatural goal of our life, because no matter how much we ignore it, we cannot deny the fact that the full dimensions of our life go beyond the temporal, the material and natural. We are also meant for the eternal, spiritual and supernatural.
And the way to do that is simply to live as fully as possible, in the richness of their practical implications, those divine gifts of faith, hope and charity. All the other human virtues and values that we pursue in our life here on earth should be animated by these theological virtues.
It is through these gifts of faith, hope and charity that we get connected with God who actually always intervenes in our life since he is still creating and redeeming us. We are still a work in progress. We are not yet a finished product. Our correspondence to God’s abiding interventions in our life is through these virtues of faith, hope and charity. This is how we can connect our time with the eternity of God.
The fact that we can think and reason out, wish and desire, choose or not, love or not, are clear indications that we are not meant only for the here and now, the tangible and the worldly. We go beyond them.