1 Pet 1, 3-9
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into a heritage that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away. It is reserved in heaven for you who are being kept safe by God’s power through faith until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the final point of time. This is a great joy to you, even though for a short time yet you must bear all sorts of trials; so that the worth of your faith, more valuable than gold, which is perishable even if it has been tested by fire, may be proved – to your praise and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. You have not seen him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described; and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is, the salvation of your souls.
It is comforting that in these days the Scriptures speak to us so clearly, to lift us up again and again. The encouragement is also important, because as long as we are still travelling in this world and suffer from the weakness of our earthly existence, the power of the Word of God is needed to remind us again and again of the essential, namely of our Eternal Destiny.
It happens all too easily that we are so taken up by the earthly that we think little of heaven! But this is very unwise, for how can we have the meaning of our existence more present if we do not think of eternity?
We have received an immaculate and indestructible heritage through the grace of God, which is kept for us in heaven. From it springs that joy of which the apostle speaks, even when we are afflicted by various trials.
We must be aware of this heritage, because although we live in this world, our heart belongs to God. We are anchored there. That is why, even in times of distress such as those we experience through the pandemic plague, it is essential to be present in our transcendent destiny. This does not make us less attentive to the needs of this world and of our fellow men, but it even sharpens our sense. It is misleading to believe that we are getting closer to our destiny by connecting more with this world. The opposite is true: if our transcendent destiny recedes into the background, then in time we will only do human works that are no longer imbued with the Holy Spirit and therefore have no supernatural character. The consequence of this can often be that we see the person who has done this and no longer God, who would have to be praised in the first place for the sake of the work.
Let us make what has been said in the text concrete:
There are trials coming upon people, such as the present plague with its ecclesiastical consequences, which are particularly painful for the faithful. How do we deal with it?
If we trust the Lord, we hear the words of the apostle. Because we are strengthened in faith, anchored in the glory of God, we can deal with these trials differently. They do not devour us and take up everything, because they are temporal.
Now our steadfastness is asked. Is our faith on firm ground? Let us remain faithful to the Lord even if we are denied access to the sacraments. Is our faith not even strengthened because it now has to rely on the Lord alone, sometimes even without the help of the Church!
So let us anchor ourselves concretely in God in this situation, then we will get a different perspective. Then it is not only simply an event that we have to suffer or even take control of us, but God uses it also to strengthen us in faith and we can prove ourselves.
This small example can now be transferred to many areas. The view from God gives us a clear light and lets us understand things more deeply. That is why we need a spiritual view of the things and circumstances that comprise human existence.
The Holy Spirit gives us this, if we should ask for it. Only in his Spirit can we understand things more deeply and draw the right conclusions.