At the end of the day, the vast majority of us want to feel secure. We want to know that tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, our needs can and will be met. We feel at peace when we know that our relationships are stable, our health is good, and our wallets are full. We tell ourselves that once we have taken care to secure all these good things, we will be able to relax and enjoy life.
But the Gospel reading today has Jesus reminding us that if we spend all our time preparing for the future, and securing our place in that future, we just may wake up to discover that there is no future left to live and that we have indeed squandered the past of our lives.
Each and every moment, God is present to us, sustaining us. Each and every day, God invites us to likewise be present to one another, in the here and now. While planning for the future has its place, we are still called to live in, and to recognize, the grace of the present moment. We are called to trust that no matter what may befall us tomorrow, God will be there, present to us.
There is no doubt that some of our tomorrows will challenge us. At times we will be visited by hardship. But in truth, we are better prepared to handle those moments if we ground ourselves in the countless moments of grace that we allow ourselves to experience each and every day.
The Gospel story challenges me to make different choices today. Can I accept the challenge? Maybe, for today, I will choose to do one less load of laundry and spend that time playing Candy Land with my son. Maybe today I will put away the report that is due in a week and open my office door to someone walking by. Maybe today, I will put away the broom and visit a sick relative. Maybe today I can start to cultivate in myself, the discipline of being present to each and every graced moment that fills my day.
—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA