As we approach the end of the church’s year, we hear Scripture readings about the end of time and how it will happen. The Gospel is particularly frightening: “Nation will rise against nation… There will be powerful earthquakes, famines and plagues… ”

As we look around at our world situation, we see many of these very things happening now. How should we react? The last sentence in the Gospel is helpful: “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”Yes, perseverance is what is called for during these times. We are called to deepen our faith, become a steadfast disciple, and resist reacting to day to day events with fear. St. Paul tells us to stay busy and avoid “minding the business of others.”

Our St. Francis Pilgrimage to France concluded Saturday as we boarded our plane at the Charles de Gaulle Airport. The day before, on our last day in Paris, we had a full day to visit the sights: the art galleries, the churches and even Notre-Dame Cathedral from the outside. Our final Mass was at Medaille Miraculeuse, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Earlier in the week we celebrated Mass at the American Cemetery at the Normandy Beaches, at the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, and at the Basilica of Sacré Coeur in Paris. All beautiful and inspiring churches. We thank God for the blessings we received on this pilgrimage. It is good to be home.

Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.