The Appropriate Response to Our Times [Marshall McLuhan Monday]

Marshall-McLuhan-Monday_CatholicWhat about you? Lately I’ve been reading about, and personally observing how, our world is becoming more chaotic and confused…and I frequently wonder: how should I react?

How do we respond to our times?

Picking up Marshall McLuhan Mondays this week, I offer you a short reflection McLuhan once gave on this subject:

I have never been an optimist nor a pessimist. I’m an apocalyptic only. Our only hope is apocalypse. […]

Apocalypse is not gloom. It’s salvation. No Christian could ever be an optimist or pessimist; that is a purely  secular state of mind. I have no interest whatever in secular institutions as places to have a nice or a bad tine. I don’t understand that kind of mentality. I guess it has taken me quite a long time to get to this state; it didn’t happen overnight.

With roots in linguistics, McLuhan knew that apocalypse = to reveal, disclose, uncover. Indeed, all the chaos and confusion in our world stem from the central human questions: Who am I? Where am I headed? Why am I here?

Humans search, seek — because this world is not our home. The Gospel for this Sunday (Baptism of the Lord) begins:

The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.

They were seeking; seeking hope. Seeking an answer…a solution…a peace to end their restlessness. So from our predecessor in the Faith, McLuhan, we’ve learned that we who know the Answer, Solution and Peace must be apocalyptics. Christ must be revealed in us.

That is the appropriate response to our times.

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