Many people live with the unconscious or conscious expectation that eventually things will get better; wars, hunger, poverty, oppression, and exploitation will vanish; and all people will live in harmony. Their lives and work are motivated by that expectation. When this does not happen in their lifetimes, they are often disillusioned and experience themselves as failures.
But Jesus doesn’t support such an optimistic outlook. He foresees not only the destruction of his beloved city Jerusalem but also a world full of cruelty, violence, and conflict. For Jesus there is no happy ending in this world. The challenge of Jesus is not to solve all the world's problems before the end of time but to remain faithful at any cost.
Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey
An old friend died last night, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s. At last, he is at peace, home with the Lord he loved and faithfully served all his life. In this world there was no happy ending for him, for his children and grandchildren, or for his wife who cared for him so selflessly at home for so long. But for him… for him the best is only just getting started. All his trials are behind him now…