To have a bright future, it is critical to decide to have one. It is essential to plan and to work for it. Whether in our personal life, or as a parish, or a diocese, or a province, or a country, if we are to have a bright future, it has to be our vision, our goal, our plan, and our commitment to achieve it.
It is not enough to manage decline. That is having a vision of less, not more; of little, not much. What we plan and work for, we will achieve. If we plan, and work for a tiny result, this is exactly what we will receive.
As people of the Judeo-Christian tradition, we see in the Bible, time and time again, ordinary people called by God to do extraordinary things. Abraham and Sarah left their homeland and set out on a journey with God. They were doing well as it was but God planted a bigger vision in them that could birth into being a great people with a positive mission to the entire world.
God inspired them to imagine that they could become the ancestors of future generations more numerous that the stars and grains of sand on a beach. Today, some three billion people around the world look to Abraham as their father in faith.
Paul set out on a mission to bring the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. This was no small vision and no easy task. The centre of the Gentile world in his day was Rome and it was filled with temples to a multitude of gods. Go to Rome today and all these temples are in ruins, and now the biggest ‘temple’ there is St. Peter’s Basilica.
Human beings can do extraordinary things! And being co-partners with God, we can do even greater things!
It is a choice that we make. God said to Isaiah, ‘Say to the people I am with them and will help them. Tell them to build and to plant.’ In Genesis we see God keen to create and being so very pleased with all that was created.
We see God constantly expressing concern and care for human beings and nudging people along the path that leads to life and blessing. In Jesus we see God having so much love for the world that God gave God-Self to save and raise it up. God always invests in us and always wants our best.
What about us? As an individual, as a parish, as a diocese, as a province, as a country, and as citizens of the world, what do we envision, plan, and work for? Do we want the best? Do we want to build up and plant? Do we want to make contributions that better our own lives and the lives of others near and far? Have we a vision of a bright future at all levels of our personal and communal life?
Without a vision and a plan and the work to bring it to fruition, we are not likely to achieve much. This holds true for all areas of our personal and common life. As individuals and as citizens of a wider community, we will only receive what we set out to achieve. If it is little, then it will be little; and if it is a lot, it will be a lot.
Newfoundland and Labrador is facing many challenges, but those are calling us to greatness and success. Will we heed the call?
Likewise, our faith community is facing challenges, and here too, will we choose to rise to the occasion and do more than we can ask or imagine?
God’s Spirit is ever present to us and to all people. We are empowered by God’s Spirit to do amazing and wonderful things. We can build up and achieve everything to which we set our hearts and minds and energy and prayers.
Will we choose a bright future? If we will choose a bright future, God will join us and together we will achieve it!