Reflection & Dialogue: Facing the future with vision and response to vision
In today’s liturgical readings we have material for reflection on how to bring vision and response to this vision together in the age in which we live and as we face the future. It is easy to yield to the temptation to indulge in abstract thought, for instance yearning for the return of the spirit of some bygone age, be it of a former generation, of Vatican II or such like, the vision that that generation or that Council had. We have seen in today’s first reading the need to pass beyond vision to the taking of steps for its implementation. God had his vision for his people which he conveyed through the prophet who spoke in that first reading. It is well to remember that we have a vision for every age, a vision which God has for us, a vision that is God himself. But we may repeat that a divine vision is useless without the will on the part of humans to cooperate in its realization. One should beware of getting lost in abstractions.
One central message of all today’s readings is the reality of God’s presence with us, but at the same time a call to realize that he is the God of Glory with his divine vision for us, for our present and our future, reminding us at the same time that his thoughts and ways are not necessarily our thoughts and ways, and calling on us to answer his call to live present reality and face the future with the humility and sense of repentance that will make the divine vision a reality. As for Paul, so for all believers, Christ should be everything for the life of his followers. This is a central truth to be stressed. We should never forget the vision of the good News of the Gospel, a vision not always in agreement with a current philosophy or view of existence. Faith is a free call from God, one to be accepted with humility and the sense of repentance arising from human frailty. Believer faces the future with confidence, since the God who has given them their vision of life here and beyond in the first place is always with them to make response to this and to work to have it become a reality in their lives.