When we look at the news, or browse our social media feeds it can feel as though the entire world is on the brink of collapse. Just this morning the headlines were teaming with buzzwords talking about everything from active volcanoes, to another mass shooting, to the entire world being on the verge of a financial collapse and that was just the first page (page 2 had a story about dolphins taking a day trip in Venice, but I think that’s a story for another day). Not only that, but Faith itself is facing ever increasing backlash and hate from those who simply don’t understand or don’t want to understand the saving power of God’s love. Instead, those opposed would rather turn to hate and violence, rather than tolerance to destroy whatever light they can find within people.
During these unprecedented times, it can be really easy to point the finger at God accusingly, questioning His Divine Will, when we are surrounded by such turmoil. However, what we must do is rely solely on the 3 theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity to step out of the mosh pit of reality, unscathed with an even deeper understanding of who we are as members of the Body of Christ.
Today’s first reading at mass helps puts this whole idea into perspective. The story is about Daniel and his 3 friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (for anyone who watched the VeggieTales, I’m talking about Rach, Schach, and Benny). During the book of Daniel, Babylon had conquered Israel and was enslaving Jews left and right (this took place roughly 600 years before Christ was born).
Anyways, fast forward to the middle of the story and the Babylonian king had constructed this giant golden statue and ordered all of the Jews to bow down and worship it.
When Daniel and his friends refused, the king threw Daniel’s friends into the fiery furnace (for those of you who don’t know the story this is a spoiler alert). When the king decided to take a peek into the furnace to watch them melt into ash, he was shocked to not only find all 3 of them perfectly fine, but also accompanied by a 4th figure described as “a Son of God”. The king let them out and God and his people emerged triumphant.
The point of the story is, don’t lose hope. Over the past few months I have come to understand that faith, hope, and charity (at their most basic roots) mean: trust that God has a plan and He is in control, all will be well, and we should love each other in the meantime.
So no matter what you are going through, no matter how big or small, just pray to the Holy Spirit to come into your life and bestow on you a little faith, a spark of hope, and the blessings of
charity to keep you going. God loves you and He never abandons His covenant.