Daily Reflection
March 17th, 1999
Rich Rossi
Isaiah 49:8-15
John 5:17-30

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

It seems that every time I turn on the television, I see a program speaking of the new millennium, and often, there is an associated story how someone believes that this will mark the end of civilization.  Often along with the story are related ones of past predictions of the end of the earth and how they never materialized; but, this doesn’t seem to slow the predictions of future dates or times when the end is yet to come.  The predictions of Nostradamus, whom many believe predict the end of this earth, continue to hold a spell over many.  The biggest movie of last summer, “Armageddon”, dealt with the issue, with the threat coming from an on rushing meteor, while the recent film “Contact”, based on the book by Carl Sagan, gave a more secular, or some would say scientific, view of what lies on the other side of our reality.  All I can surmise from all this is that all generations have tried to understand what we can expect after the end of this life, and no doubt we will continue to do so in the generations ahead.

In today’s gospel, Jesus gives us a simple and clear call, not once but three times.  “I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life.”  And he goes on that those who do good will be resurrected, and those who do evil will be subject to judgment.  Simply, have faith, do good.  As simple as these commands are, they often seem to bewilder us, making us more prone to guilt than increased faith.  In our dark hours, faith seems to be clouded with uncertainty, and in what seems to be ever increasing demands on our time, we find we do less good than we should.   If we allow our doubts and guilt to dominate our lives, we tend to lose hope and gain in cynicism.

But Lent is above all about hope, joy, and salvation.  There are so many passages in the readings of this season that remind us of hope that is abundant in each of us, that none of us should lose heart.  Try as I may, I cannot believe Jesus, God of Love, Shepherd of us all, would desire to cast a spell of gloom and fear over us.  His call is simple, and while not always easy, it is above all to never give up hope.  I suspect my life’s end will come long before that of this earth.  In the time we have in this life, we would do better to glorify in the joy he shares.  Have faith, and be of a generous heart.

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