We are coming to the end of the Church's year. These words of St. Peter are chosen to remind us of a virtue the virtue of final perseverance. These are big words, but all they mean is that you must finish what you have begun.
You may have heard in your history classes about the city of Pompeii. It stood at the foot of the volcano which is called Mount Vesuvius in the southern part of Italy. Suddenly without any warning the volcano erupted and buried the city in lava and ashes. In recent years scientists began to dig down into the ruins of Pompeii to find out how people lived int the days of the Roman empire. They found all sorts of curious things. They came to the gate of one building and saw a strange sight. They saw a skeleton, still dressed in the armor of a Roman soldier standing at attention. For two thousand years that soldier had been at his post. He was steadfast to the end. No wonder Rome could conquer the world with men like that.
St. Paul would tell us, "Stand fast thus in the Lord." Many children have a fault which can be overcome by standing fast until the end. They begin a thing well, and go most of the way through it, and then toward the end they quit. It is the finish line that decides a race and the final whistle that decides a game. A baseball team can get all the runners it wants on third base, but it will not win a came unless they cross the home plate. Final perseverance simply means: do not quit on third. The "Swallow" was a steamer that sailed the Great Lakes. It caught fire once near Buffalo. Most people were saved through the bravery of the helmsman, John Maynard, who stayed at the helm and brought the ship to shore. He stayed to the end until the ship was safe even though his hands were burned and blistered by the flames and his lungs choked smoke. "Stand fast thus in the Lord."
Stonewall Jackson goo his unusual nickname because he would never budge an inch in battle. He believed in fighting to the end. One o his soldiers during battle looked up at him and was inspired by his bravery to say, There stands Jackson like a stone wall." That is how he got his name.
St. Peter would look at these examples of bravery and final perseverance and tell us not to quit, not to die on third base, to "stand fast thus in the Lord."
Source: Heirs of The Kingdom- Imprimatur