As the Covid years march on, an increasing source of deep concern marches apace with them. This is the growing stress and depression of many adolescents facing an enigmatic future. Traditional jobs disappear; stable, lasting relationships fade. Rapid climate change and growing distrust between the great powers paint a dark, dark picture. All of us planetary creatures tremble in the face of these threats, but for youth it may mean survival or not.
This Sunday’s scripture readings propose faith in God’s fidelity as the only true foundation for humanity’s future. This is not unquestioning optimism. Despite the wars and genocide of last century, a general belief has still lingered that amazing technology and growing affluence would be the opening for a new world. Now, chillingly, we see that the new technology (genetic manipulation, artificial intelligence, the disappearing need for many traditional jobs, for instance) may be as much a curse as a blessing. Vague hopes of a better world and civilization face stark challenges.
Our scriptures point to faith in God’s vision and plan for creation as a stanchion to which we must cling. When Abraham could see no land, no heir, no future (Heb 11. 8,11.13), he put his trust in God’s faithfulness. A similar challenge was laid down in front of Jesus’ followers, a small minority, facing persecution, awaiting the Master’s return that seemed long delayed, yet they still clung in hope to Jesus’ promises (Lk 12.40)
It is faith in God’s past fidelity, the unexpected and abiding support of our brothers and sisters in the family of faith now, and the promise of Jesus that he would be with us to the end of time that will sustain us through these dark days.
27th Sunday year CThis Sunday