In our second reading at Sunday Mass, we hear St. Peter exhorting us to wait for the coming of the day of God. The Day of the Lord will conclude human history, and the Lord Jesus will bring about complete and perfect justice. [Spanish]
St. Peter tells us we can hasten the coming of the eternal day. How? By our eagerness for holiness and peace.
What puts us sinners at peace with God? Baptism into Christ. On the cross, the Lord Jesus made peace between God and man. The Lord offered His infinite divine holiness as a sacrifice on behalf of the human race, as one of us. That holy sacrifice makes the eternal peace, the peace that will unfold fully on the Day of God.
Baptism unites us with that peace. Holy Baptism makes the peace won by Christ’s sacrifice our own peace.
Now you might say, “Father, hold on. I love the idea of inner peace. But I have anxieties. Grave ones. Not only do I not really understand when we will get our ‘normal’ life back; not only am I seriously concerned about what new name they will give to the Washington Redskins. But the whole world seems, like, broken.”
Ok. Well said. Baptism gives us Christ’s peace and makes us ready for the Final Judgment. Baptism is the sacrament of… faith. Faith. Baptism is not the sacrament of unrealistically thinking that life on earth is a picnic. Baptism is the sacrament of believing in the holy triune God, Who transcends this world in every way.
And baptism is the sacrament of the faith of the Church. To hasten Judgment Day, we all need to recognize: We do not have faith in our Savior Jesus as autonomous individuals. We have faith in Christ by having the faith of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Jesus.
If it were just me and God, I would be terrified of Judgment Day. Under those circumstances, I would be condemned, as I rightly deserve. But I can eagerly try to hasten Judgment Day because I hope to stand before the divine tribunal not alone, but with the Lord Jesus, His Mother, St. Joseph, the Apostles, the martyrs, all the saints. I hope to greet Judgment Day filled with the heavenly grace that Christ has communicated to His Church. I just need to stay current on the sacramental confessions of my sins.
“But, Father! There you go again, extolling the decisive importance of communion with the Catholic Church. You who have been tossed to the curb by that Church! Your kind friends think you should call the local Episcopalian bishop. The Catholic institution has pushed conscientious people to their limit. Practicing Catholics have no solid arguments to make with the lapsed Catholics who won’t associate themselves anymore with the mafia of sex-abuse cover-uppers.”
Again, amen. Well said. Thankfully, at least for now, the virus pushes the final turning-point into the future, for us troubled Catholics. No one has an obligation to go to Mass now anyway. The people who feel safe going to Mass and the people who—for whatever reason—don’t feel safe: we’re all still in this together. We can do what St. Peter said, and wait. Wait on God, trusting that He knows best.
My life certainly makes less sense to me with each passing day. But having your life make sense is over-rated. The Almighty never promised that our lives would make sense all the time. The good plan of God does indeed make sense; it makes sense to the saints and to the angels. It’s just that we miscreants bobbing and weaving here on the surface of the earth do not have the insight necessary to grasp it all yet.
Christ Himself is our peace. The Virgin bore Him as the Holy Child. The holiness of Christ—what is it exactly? His consecration to the will of the Father. His total submission to the loving kindness of God. God will show us the way. One thing we know for sure: the way involves not doing unkind things, and doing all the kind things we can.