This pandemic has revived many theories about the end of human life on this planet and has certainly given a lot of credibility to those who claim a virus will end up destroying humanity. In my opinion, it could well be the case, but I am quite sure this won’t happen the way most scientists believe. The risk humanity faces every time we suffer a crisis or a catastrophe, is not only the massive loss of human lives but the loss of the whole human society. And when will that happen? Well… we won’t have to wait for all humans to be exterminated, as many apocalyptic predictions of the future show. It could happen a lot earlier, because, in fact, you only need society to become inhuman, and that can happen as early as the day we all start CALCULATING. It is common – and to certain extend understandable – that in the face of suffering and loss our most basic instincts kick in, we switch to “survival mode”, we deploy all our self-defence mechanisms and all we care about is our own benefit. What do I gain? How much do I need to give? How much can I afford? When that day arrives though, we will stop giving freely. We won’t smile. We won’t greet each other. We won’t go an extra mile. That day the weak, the elderly and whoever is in need will matter no more. That day, human society will have disappeared, and that will be the beginning of the end.
The readings of this Sunday, however, shed a ray of light. Despite human’s cold heart, God remains faithful and generous. Because he never holds on to debts nor calculates loss, he continues to give freely and abundantly. Like the rain on the earth, he does not calculate where it falls, he does not ask permission, he does not measure. Or like the sower who throws the seed to right and left, convinced that if only a few, a little “rest”, falls on good soil they will compensate for all the others.
So, when you look out into the world and see the society decomposing, don’t worry, it might not be the end just yet. For there might be a little “rest”, a little remnant of people who hear the word of God, and like him they do not count the loss nor hold on to debts and so they can still give themselves freely and generously. A little “rest” who will compensate for the others. They will be the few whose love will overpower the darkness and chaos of the hatred of others. They, in fact will be the oasis, for the others. In them, human society will survive, love will still survive somewhere, in some place on this earth, and within it, humans will flourish and thrive.
Now stop for a moment, be quiet, listen. Can you hear it? God might be calling you to be part of that little “rest”.
Fr Daniel Herrero Pena
See the Home page for this week's Mass times. Given the restrictions in numbers, if you intend to come to Mass, please book in advance so that we can accommodate you. https://parish.rcdow.org.uk/kensington1/events/