Ordinary Time - Week 08a

Trust and abandonment in God

(From Conversation with God, Fernandez Carvajal)

Our Lord counsels us in the Gospel of the Mass: "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day."

Yesterday is over. We do not know whether we will see tomorrow, since no one has been given knowledge of the future. All that remains to us from yesterday's toil are reasons, many reasons, for giving thanks: we thank God for his bountiful outpouring of graces and blessings; we owe gratitude also to our fellow men. We will have added, too, we hope, even if just a little, to our treasure in heaven. From the day that is gone we draw motives for contrition and penance for our sins, our errors and omissions. Of yesterday we can say, in the words of the entrance antiphon of today's Mass: The Lord has been my strength; He has led me into freedom. He saved me because He loves me.

Tomorrow 'as yet is not.' If it comes, it will be more wonderful than we could ever dream, because our Father God has prepared it to sanctify us: My times are in thy hand (Ps 31:15). There are no grounds, objectively speaking, for letting worry and concern for tomorrow weigh us down: we will be given the graces we need in order to contend with anything that crops up. We will be victorious.

What matters is today. Today is the day we need in which to love, to grow in holiness, through those countless little occurrences that go to make up the texture of our life. Some things will be naturally pleasant, others perhaps less gratifying, but each one of them can be made to shine for God and for eternity, a gem which we will have wrought and polished with human perfection and supernatural meaning.

We cannot dally with wishful thinking. Sometimes our fanciful imagination improves upon the reality of past events and enslaves us by idealising a future reassuringly free from effort; or it may, on the contrary, show us a dark horizon, a prospect that makes us apprehensive. He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap (Eccles 11:4). It is an invitation to get on with carrying out the duty of the moment without stopping to see whether a better opportunity may perhaps arise. It is easy also, in our apostolate, for us to postpone a project for a more suitable occasion. What would have become of the Apostles' preaching if they had waited and looked for more favourable circumstances? What would have happened, in any successful work of apostolate, if Christ's followers had stood down in the off-chance of better conditions? Here and now is where I must love God with all my heart and with deeds.

Humanly and supernaturally, holiness and efficacy consist mainly in living each day as if it were the only day in our life: each day is the one we must fill with love for God; every day is one we must finish, leaving it brimful of good works. We cannot let a single chance of doing good slip through our hands. Today does not come round again, ever, and God expects us to fill it with love and with little acts of service towards others. Our Guardian Angel should rejoice when he offers our day to our Father God.