One of the most important things in life is life itself, and even more is life that will follow this life. Among all the things we need to worry about or work on, this one is the only one that really matters, precisely because it will last forever.
Jesus presents before us in today’s gospel passage the need to meditate about this reality, the reality of the fragility of this life, and how all of today’s worries will pass.
Part of our Profession of Faith, which we pray together every Sunday, is this truth: “I believe in life everlasting”. The things we believe somehow determine how we live and the choices we make.
We are created to live forever, and that is God’s will, and the plan of salvation consists simply in this: Jesus “came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Among all of the questions that any person can ask, the question about eternal life is most important, and the one with most implications. The reason is very simple, we live this life with a purpose; every single action, we know, has its repercussions in this life and in the life that is still to come.
Eternal life begins here and now, because through grace we have participation in God’s very own life. “‘Eternal life’ is life itself, real life, which can also be lived in the present age and is no longer challenged by physical death. This is the point: to seize ‘life’ here and now, real life that can no longer be destroyed by anything or anyone” (Pope Benedict XVI).
The key to eternal life is our relationship with God: the more we are in contact and in communion with God, the more we are touched by God’s grace, which is our sharing in divine life. This is a life that by its nature is eternal, for God is life itself. As it is written in Saint John’s Gospel: “Now this is the eternal life, that they may know you , the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent ” (John 17:3).
I am convinced that, for those who really believe, eternal life could begin right here, right now – if we live our life with our eyes set on heaven. We ask ourselves many times about what we will do in the future; we ask about tomorrow, but we need to ask about the real future, the one that lasts forever. Sometimes we do not want to think about it, because that future is dependent upon our death. We would like to avoid death, but it is necessary to allow us to become sharers in eternal life.
I encourage you to think often about eternal life and live fully in life here on earth, always knowing that this life is just a shadow of what is yet to come, what will last forever.