Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tomorrow's Change

As I reflected on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, I thought of Jesus’ suffering, and what He may have been thinking. With all who had shouted “Crucify Him”, and with all who abandoned Him, I think He must have had some thoughts such as these about His life: Was it worth it? Abandoned now, will I be remembered? All that I had said and done, all that I had tried so hard to do right, to teach right, did they learn? Will they remember Me?

And then my thoughts drifted to my own life. So many years have passed; I’ve been blessed (if that is the right word) with even more years than Jesus. Have I used them well? Will my accomplishments in marriage, in work, and in trying to care for others, will anyone remember those accomplishments; will anyone remember me? Did it make a difference for them that I had lived a part of their lives? Did my past even make a difference for me?

Ah, I think there I hit upon a question of value to consider further upon: Did my past make a difference for me? All the other things in my past, those things are now beyond my control. Were others influenced; will they remember; these are questions which are only possible concerns of theirs and of God, at this point. Whatever the answers, it matters not to me right now; and knowing the answers to those questions are just a thing of curiosity, like watching a movie on television: I can’t change the ending, whether I watch it or not.

No, what others benefited or not, or remember or not, is of no value to me. I shouldn’t be worrying about those things. God will judge them. What DOES matter to me now is how my past has influenced me. Have I learned anything? Do I remember? Am I a better man now, for what I did? Where am I at now, in my quest for holiness? What platform have I reached, from which I step off of, and into my future?

But even as I thought on those things, those relevant points (or so I thought), I realized, as Scripture might say, that even all this was vanity. For what does it benefit me to know whether I am so saintly that I am almost like God Himself, or whether I am such a sinner that when Satan looks in the mirror he sees me? None of such knowledge will change what I must do tomorrow.

There! There was the real crucial word. I just said it! Tomorrow, regardless of where I am at today, tomorrow I must change. Tomorrow is a challenge for me to grow in holiness, to offset the evil of our time, to offset my evil. Yesterday matters for nothing as I consider my path to tomorrow.

The Prodigal Son knew this, as did the lost sheep, and the laborer who only worked the last hour. Mary Magdalene knew this and followed Jesus with the crowds, and Dismas also knew this, as the three of them hung on their crosses, alone in their last moments --- no crowds present. They all knew: the past matters for naught today. Today we can change.

It is never too late to change.

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