Most folks are familiar with Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who lived in Amsterdam during the early years of World War II. When the Germans started rounding up all Jews, she and her family went into hiding. There was a total of seven in all and they hid for two years in the attic. They waited in fear each day of being discovered by the Nazis.
During that time Anne kept a diary, which her father found after the war ended. In it Anne expressed her thoughts and feelings with the maturity way beyond her years. In one remarkable passage she writes:
"It is twice as hard for us young people to hold our ground, in a time when all ideals are being shattered and destroyed, when people are showing their worst side, and do not know whether to believe in truth and right and God.
It is really a wonder that I have not dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are good at heart.
I see the world being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever- approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again."
It is an amazing expression faith and hope at a time of such upheaval. Anne never saw peace and tranquility return. One day the dreaded knock on the door came and she and her family were taken to the Belsen Concentration Camp where she died in 1944.
What is it that enables a person to endure the difficulties of life? It is the rightness of one's cause that gives one great strength. The example and support of others is also a great benefit. And then there is the best help of all, namely, FAITH. Faith gives one the conviction that good will triumph in the end over all evil, and that God will have the final word.
We live in an age of so much social and political upheaval. People of faith are often regarded as naive and ineffective and irrelevant. However, we must not be afraid of skepticism and cynicism, but trust that God will have the final word.
Jesus tells us "Do not be afraid," and he assures us in today's Gospel that "By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
Faith can only be proved in suffering and endurance. Jesus showed patience and endurance when he embraced the cross. If we share in his suffering, we shall share in his glory.
— Fr. Dennis, November 17, 2019