Breakfast, and the End of the Universe

This morning I had breakfast with a priest of my diocese.  Over eggs and bacon, he somehow managed to put the whole universe into better perspective for me.

“Why do you matter?” he asked.  “Why does anything you do matter?”  Pretty hefty conversation for breakfast, maybe, but typical for us.  “The world doesn’t revolve around you; it revolves around Christ.  What you do only matters because he cares for us; so we have to start looking at the world from God’s perspective, and not from our own tiny perspective.”

The theme of our conversation seemed to jive well with last Sunday’s feast – the feast of Christ the King.  Christ is the king of heaven and earth and everything else!  History is not eternal, yet we are destined for eternity.  My priest friend continued:  “This world is passing away; Jesus tells us that not one stone will be left upon another.  But his reign will last forever.”

I wished breakfast would last forever!  But Father’s point was well-taken.  Most of the things we worry about on a daily basis have such little bearing on eternity.  As Jesus himself tell us, there is only one thing necessary in life (Luke 10:42) – and that is him!  In other words, we don’t have to worry – not simply because he is in control, but because everything that exists was made in him (John 1:3) and for his glory.  As Mother Teresa was fond of saying, God does not call us to be successful so much as to be faithful!  As long as we get to be with God forever in heaven in the end, there’s really no point in worrying so much about the things that happen in this world.

Of course, our goal as Christians must never be simply to reach heaven ourselves, but to build up the body of Christ by helping others to know, love and serve him as well.  For some of us, this too can be a source of worry; what if someone else’s salvation is endangered because I’m not doing enough for them?  Father had an answer for this, too:  “As for helping others, the best way for Christ to win their hearts is to win your heart.  When he wins your heart, he will shine through you.  That’s how others will see him.”  Or in the words of Padre Pio, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

As we close out the old Church year and begin the new with the season of Advent, let us pray to be filled with the hope of the Holy Spirit for the coming of God’s kingdom both in the present world, and in the world to come.  Let us promise the Lord to let his peace reign in our hearts, so that we may gladly do his will in the freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:21).

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