Think about the future…
It is normal for us to think about the future. Today’s gospel presents the situation of someone who sees his future torn apart, to the extent that whatever is to come will be radically different from what has been. Jesus admires the wisdom of this man, for he uses his resourcefulness to take care of himself in that still unknown future.
Think for a moment: do you think much about the future? Actually, we all do. Everyone is focused on their future, sometimes overwhelmed by the uncertainties of what is to come. We worry about school, university, profession, marriage, family, and the future of our own families… etc. Our concern demonstrates our care and of our love. Concern, or even worry, is sometimes necessary, for if we do not worry about our own future or the future of our love ones, we might be considered irresponsible.
Hence, in many things we do, we show our concern for our future, the future of our family, of the country, or of the planet. I would like you to consider this: what future is it that we have in mind? Obviously, it is the future of this world; while it may be a long one, we know that it will not be forever. But what about the other future, the one that is forever, the one we call eternal live: what about that future?
The gospel, through this example of concern about the future of this life, attempts to inspire us to be concerned about the future that awaits us after this life. For if we worry so much about the future of our mortal life that will eventually end, how much more should we worry, work, think and prepare for eternity?
The plan of salvation is not that we will have the guarantee of a pleasant future here (which in not excluded). However, beginning now, we will work for the life that does not end, with love of God in focus in that eternal life. See how in his gospel, Saint John shows the reality of love united to the life after this life, which God offers through Jesus: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:15).
The imitation of Christ through a life of virtue is not itself the goal, but rather the instrument by which we can glorify God. That is the reason “why” the “future” is important. For that reason, I encourage you to put your mind and your effort in this “future,” as much, or even more than, we dedicate to our future here, this future that will pass away. That is the main difference between believers and others. We believe in the God who saves us not just to give us moral instructions for this world, but who also shows us the way to arrive at that unending life.
The letter of John shows us in a perfect sentence the purpose of that letter, a purpose that is shared with our gospel passage today: I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 Jn 5:13).