Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ordinary 32 Friday

Have you ever known anyone hopelessly stuck in the past? People like this are typically unhappy people, filled with resentment, regret, loneliness, and an unhealthy nostalgia for the way things used to be. That’s why our Lord wants us to live in the present moment- the now- and work toward a future that’s full of hope.

We can see this in today’s gospel. In speaking of the future "coming of the Son of man," Jesus insisted that we "must not return to what was left behind." Then he concluded, "Remember the wife of Lot."

Remember her? When Sodom was being destroyed, God insisted that she move on and not look back. But she did look back, and turned into a pillar of salt. God wants us to keep moving forward too, and not look back in nostalgia or regret, Because if we do, we’ll get stuck in a place that God doesn’t want us to be. Just like that pillar of salt.

Salt, of course, is a preservative- it’s meant to keep things just the way they are. Which is fine for food, but not for human beings. Jesus said: "Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it." In other words, life doesn’t stand still. Time marches on. And so must we.

With regard to the past, we need to grieve whatever we may have lost, give thanks for everything that was good, and then we need to let it all go, that we may live the life that Jesus is calling us to live today. Indeed, Jesus wants us to live- forever! That’s why he doesn’t want us looking backwards in bitterness. Instead, he wants us to move forward- in faith.

(My book of daily meditations for Lent is now available from Ave Maria Press:

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