Today, we weep for the death of a 20-year-old. Since it was in 1997 that the space probe duo left their home planet bound for Saturn. Cassini lost its friend, the lander Huygens, in 2004. But this sacrifice was not in vain. For Huygens found that Titan was a strange world of mountains and methane seas.
Cassini soldiered on making discovery after discovery. Not least was that Enceladus could have primitive life in the watery ocean beneath its frozen crust.
Although its anxious parents kept in touch from Earth, at over 1 billion kilometers away, Cassini had to decide much for itself. We could only watch, guide and wait. It was very much a child growing up in the depths of space.
At 11.55 UTC this doughty craft’s life came to an end in the atmosphere of Saturn. At the moment of its passing, NASA tweeted: Cassini is now part of the planet it studied. Thanks for the science.
God feels the same way about us. We, like the probe, must make many choices for ourselves. Our heavenly parent is there for us but, ultimately, it’s our call. We, at least, have the guidance of Christ, not a vast distance away, but closer than a hair’s breadth.
Let us shed a tear for Cassini but continue with our mission; the making of our own discoveries for God.