Life is full of uncertainty. We do our best to plan for the future. We try to prepare for whatever may happen and save as much as we can. However, so many things can change in life that we cannot always be on top of everything. Besides the economic uncertainties, there are also political changes, changes to our health and changes in our relationships. That is why, as we grow older and wiser, we learn to take one day at a time, enjoying what we have today and trusting that we will have enough for tomorrow.
With all the change in life, there is one thing that stays constant - God. God never changes. He is always by our side. No matter what may happen, He will always love us. There is nothing and no one that can change His love for us. There is nothing that can distract Him from us. He has us securely in His hands.
The prophet Isaiah writes beautifully about this in today's first reading. God is the potter, and we are the clay He molds and fashions. We sometimes think that God was done creating when He formed Adam and Eve out of the mud and rested on the Sabbath day. However, God is still at work creating us. We are all works in progress. God is not finished with us yet. And so we need not look to the future with fear because we are in the capable hands of our Creator. Whatever may happen, He will give us what we need to face it all. He will make sure that everything turns out for our benefit no matter how difficult the trials may be.
Saint Paul continues this theme in his letter to the Corinthians. Not only is God at work creating us but He is also saving us in Christ. Through Jesus' death on the cross and through faith, God is enriching us with gifts of grace. To take the image of God as a potter, not only does God create us as a potter would create a jug out of clay, but He also fills us. He does not leave us empty but pours out His love, mercy, peace and joy into us. Paul continues to explain that we lack no spiritual gifts as we look forward in hope to the future. Furthermore, Paul explains, God is faithful. He will never get so frustrated with us that He gives up on us. Rather He will work on us so that we will be ready to greet Him when He comes again.
Despite all the uncertainties of the future, despite our inability to plan for every and any eventuality, we can look forward with hope and confidence. Our health may fail, our money may run out, we might even lose our loved ones but God will always be with us. With God by our side we can lack for nothing. He will always provide for us.
And though we are not able to see into the future, God is able to. In ways we may not be aware of, He is already preparing us for what is to come. Through the small obstacles we overcome today, He is training us for the larger obstacles that will come our way tomorrow. By putting us through small tests today, He is schooling us in the patience, strength and confidence we will need for the larger tests tomorrow. That is why, though our first reaction may be to complain to God about the challenges we face, we really should be thanking Him for equipping us with what we need to succeed in the future.
So as we look forward in life, our confidence is not in ourselves, in how much money we have saved or how well we have prepared. Instead our confidence is in the God who holds us in His loving hands and who makes all things work together for our good.
There is one thing about the future that we can be absolutely certain of. Jesus will come again. We do not know when He will come, but He has made it clear that the world will one day end and He will establish the Kingdom of God once and for all. In the meanwhile, He has left us His word, the Bible, to teach us how to live as we await His return in glory. There is no better preparation for the future than living a good and virtuous life. When we look back at our past and the mistakes we have made, how often were they a result not just of bad planning but of bad choices? We knew what the right thing to do was, but for some reason we chose to do what we knew was wrong thinking that we could get away with it. As a result, we lost our way. If we want to be prepared for the future, then, we must strive today to live the words of the Scripture and to follow the teaching of the Church. They will keep us safe and on the right path as we navigate our way through all the dangers of life.
Life is a journey. We do not always see what is ahead of us. We cannot always plan for what is waiting for us down the road. But we have a God who does see ahead and who will give us all we need to travel securely. We need only trust Him and follow the path He has marked out for us as we look forward to our final destination, the eternal life of heaven.
As we gather here today, God also provides us with the food to sustain us along the way. It is the Body and Blood of His Son which is given to us out of love. Whatever difficulties we are facing, whatever uncertainties are weighing on us, let us offer them up to our Heavenly Father. And when we receive the Eucharist, let us be reminded that He loves us and that He will see us through. We are the clay in His hands and He will never let us go.
(image by Marisol Sousa)