Thinking through eschatology

November 20, 2020 at 7:34 p.m.
Thinking through eschatology
Thinking through eschatology

Father Eugene Hemrick

In the book "And God Saw It Was Good: Catholic Theology and the Environment," John F. Haught, retired professor at Georgetown University, observes:

"We need to probe more deliberately than ever into one of our faith tradition's central though often overlooked characteristics, namely, its vision of the universe and the earth as the embodiment of a divine promise. ... Theology has yet to draw out explicitly the ecological significance of the so-called 'eschatological' vision of reality."

Eschatology comes from the Greek "eschatos," meaning concern about last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell and purgatory. In disturbing times, what can it teach us about coping with the future?

In its wider sense, eschatology simply means what we may hope for. Throughout the Bible, God's divine promise rings through the Psalms and prophets. Repeatedly, we hear the hopeful words of God's promise to strengthen and protect us.

As the Israelites were encouraged to hope for the continual fulfillment of God's promise, so too does eschatology encourage us to keep our heads raised up and to look around at the hopeful realities surrounding us.

Take, for example, new technological advances helping us toward to a more wholesome future, and the daily psalms and readings recalling how God protected those in the past and will do so in our life because God "cannot deny himself" (2 Tm 2:13).

Eschatology encourages us to hope for a better future, to be more positive than negative, more optimistic, and less despairing, and to enjoy the comfort of God's promise: that God cares deeply for us. Ultimately, it encourages us to entertain hopeful thoughts of a promising future thanks to God's divine promise.

Daily disturbing conjectures exist about COVID-19 lasting far into 2021, our economy tanking, the government continuing to be disoriented and our democracy being discredited. Unfortunately, positive speculation that exists is being outweighed by gloomy predictions.

As a result, we fear we will never be the same again and the worry that we face an unhopeful future are getting the upper hand. To counter this malaise, we need to reignite our faith and hope in God's divine promise – a God whose promise created life on earth and who deeply desires a new dawn for us.


Related Stories

In the book "And God Saw It Was Good: Catholic Theology and the Environment," John F. Haught, retired professor at Georgetown University, observes:

"We need to probe more deliberately than ever into one of our faith tradition's central though often overlooked characteristics, namely, its vision of the universe and the earth as the embodiment of a divine promise. ... Theology has yet to draw out explicitly the ecological significance of the so-called 'eschatological' vision of reality."

Eschatology comes from the Greek "eschatos," meaning concern about last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell and purgatory. In disturbing times, what can it teach us about coping with the future?

In its wider sense, eschatology simply means what we may hope for. Throughout the Bible, God's divine promise rings through the Psalms and prophets. Repeatedly, we hear the hopeful words of God's promise to strengthen and protect us.

As the Israelites were encouraged to hope for the continual fulfillment of God's promise, so too does eschatology encourage us to keep our heads raised up and to look around at the hopeful realities surrounding us.

Take, for example, new technological advances helping us toward to a more wholesome future, and the daily psalms and readings recalling how God protected those in the past and will do so in our life because God "cannot deny himself" (2 Tm 2:13).

Eschatology encourages us to hope for a better future, to be more positive than negative, more optimistic, and less despairing, and to enjoy the comfort of God's promise: that God cares deeply for us. Ultimately, it encourages us to entertain hopeful thoughts of a promising future thanks to God's divine promise.

Daily disturbing conjectures exist about COVID-19 lasting far into 2021, our economy tanking, the government continuing to be disoriented and our democracy being discredited. Unfortunately, positive speculation that exists is being outweighed by gloomy predictions.

As a result, we fear we will never be the same again and the worry that we face an unhopeful future are getting the upper hand. To counter this malaise, we need to reignite our faith and hope in God's divine promise – a God whose promise created life on earth and who deeply desires a new dawn for us.

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Be proud of your uniform, committed to peace, Pope tells military
Entrusting to God's mercy all of their comrades-in-arms who have died serving

Caritas Australia mobilizes efforts to aid landslide victims in Papua New Guinea
Caritas Australia mobilized relief efforts to aid victims of a horrific landslide...

Christ is the answer to young people's search for hope, Pope says
Young people around the world need to know that God loves...

Synod report for U.S. shows growth, tensions and 'deep desire to rebuild' the body of Christ
Growth, undeniable tensions and "a deep desire to rebuild and strengthen" ...

CRS official says agency has been unable to to get aid to southern Gaza Strip since May 6
As tensions and the number of victims mount in southern Gaza...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.