Often in contemporary dramas, we see a protagonist who is on his or her own, facing an uncertain future. Do we find ourselves in the same predicament?

It sure seems as if we often live our lives as if we are at the mercy of an unpredictable world, mired in an unguided existence and drifting toward an uncertain destination. And yet, we are often in Church, week after week, declaring our faith-filled allegiance to Jesus and surrendering our lives to something and someone much bigger than ourselves — our God who is both the source and ultimate end of all of creation.

Doesn’t that say something about what we believe? Of course. But so do the concrete ways we live our lives, the actual choices we make. In many ways, our lives sometimes tell a different story.

If we believe that we are not facing this life alone, then why do we often fear so many things in this world or feel things will never be as good as they were in the past. Why do we expect that our life should unfold exactly as we have planned or even take credit for every good thing that comes our way.

And if we believe that our future is not uncertain, why do we often try to get all we can even at the expense of others. Is it out of fear that we will not get our fair share — or more than our fair share? Why do we do whatever works for us, without worrying about if it’s the right thing and live our lives with little hope, little joy and little optimism?

In sacred scripture, we find Jesus reassuring his disciples that they will never be alone. He tells them that he and his father will make a dwelling place with them, and that the Holy Spirit will be with them always. And the consequence of this indwelling is a profound kind of peace.

You see, we don’t have a God who is some sort of vague idea or force that meagerly shapes our world from a distance.

We have a God who is intimately connected with each of us and wants nothing more than to help each of us make this world the beautiful place he created it to be. We may unfortunately live our lives at times as if we have to do it all on our own, but nothing could be further from the truth. God is with us every single step of the way.

Nor is our future uncertain — the victory has been won. Eternal communion with God is our destiny. That’s what God is holding out for each of us. We come to know these things only through faith, as a gift from God. Yet, for many of us we know these things simply in our heads, but not really in our hearts. That’s the challenge — to take what we say we believe and truly start living in the light of those beliefs.

Will we let God come to our rescue, let God save us each and every day through the power of his love and mercy and compassion? Or will we each live our lives in a stark kind of existential solitude, like a person stranded on a bleak landscape, on our own, with an uncertain future. God wants to be with us and lead us home. The question is, will we let him?

Deacon Stuart Neslin is a Parish Deacon and Parish Administrator at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome.

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