Praised be Jesus Christ! By now you know that I enjoy a good movie and am grateful when someone makes a solid recommendation. For whatever reason I was reminded recently of the movie “The Fugitive” that came out in 1993 and starred Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. Ford plays the part of a doctor who is wrongly accused and found guilty of murdering his wife. He spends the bulk of the film trying to exonerate himself while simultaneously avoiding Jones who is a highly competent U.S. Marshall. One scene I always remember is when Ford is working with a former assistant as he searches for clues as to who really killed his wife. The assistant whose name is Bones is completely unaware of the manhunt being conducted to find Ford who is a fugitive and on the run. In one of the most poignant scenes of the movie Bones asks Ford, “Whatever happened with that thing about your wife?” Ford’s response is one for the ages: “It’s not over yet.” And isn’t that the truth about so many sagas in our lives? For people who prefer closure and a happy ending, life just doesn’t allow us as much peace as we’d prefer. “It’s not over yet.” How many times do we work toward an expected goal when circumstances change and all of a sudden what was once certain now hangs in the balance, sometimes never to be completed? And when it comes to human relationships, we struggle to know just what to do to help loved ones who refuse our assistance and seem determined to self-destruct no matter how hard we try to deter them. Life is full of struggles that cause us seemingly endless worry and this takes its toll as the years go by. But Ford is right to point out that hey, “It’s not over yet.” And that’s the good news – things can have a happy ending. As Christians, we believe that life will have a happy ending for all who trust in the Lord. After all, for Jesus it is over – His battle with His ancient enemy ended the moment He walked out of the tomb, never to return again. It’s this reality that buoys our spirits when we find ourselves once again down in the mouth and ready to throw in the towel for good. We live in the tension between the already – Jesus’ victory over sin and death once and for all – and the not yet – our salvation, which is not certain until our final breath. And so when we come up against a hopeless situation we do well to remember that “It’s not over yet” – in Christ we know that good will prevail in the end, no matter how long the odds and hopeless the situation appears to be at the moment. As evidence that the battles rage on, this past Father’s Day Planned Parenthood weighed in on the immigration crisis: “In our hearts and minds today: all of the fathers and parents who have been separated from their children at borders.” Of course, for the level-minded person, the realization comes swiftly that no organization in the history of our country has separated more children from their parents than Planned Parenthood. It’s in these moments when we do well to remember that “It’s not over yet.” In other words, the battles continue as the evil one works feverishly to bait us into destroying ourselves. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have the hope of His final victory, but also the realization that our salvation is to some degree contingent on our willingness to live our faith in a hostile world. Thankfully we have the example of Our Lord, who like Ford, was accused of things He did not do. However, unlike Ford He did not flee from His unjust punishment: embracing His Cross He gave His life that we might live. And on that first Easter morning the devil, scorned by the most unlikely event in the history of our universe, must have thought, “It’s not over yet.” But that’s where he erred – Christ’s victory means it is definitively over... all that’s left to decide is whether we trust Him enough to enter the fray.
May God grant us courage, so that our faith will awaken a slumbering world to the thrill of the fight!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin