The observance of the 150th Anniversary of the Diocese is nearing an end. For several months now we’ve had a number of devotional, educational and cultural events. This diocesan paper has published excellent articles about our seven former bishops and has highlighted fascinating photos from diocesan archives. And the solemn Mass to honor our patron saints, the Apostles Peter and Paul, is now at hand. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect upon our past and to thank God for all the blessings he has given us.
But, this anniversary, like every anniversary, is an intersection of the past and the future. What can we expect from the future? And what will we need to survive the days and years to come? Let me suggest three keys to a peaceful and secure future.
The first is trust. As we know so well, we can never predict the future. We have no idea what will come our way in 50 years, 25 years, next year or even tomorrow. We know only that the future will be filled with surprises, and with lots of events beyond our control. That’s why we need to place ourselves completely in God’s hands, trusting in his providence, confident that nothing, ever, “will be able to separate us from the love of God.” (Rom 8:39)
The second is to “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2) and not be distracted by other false promises or fruitless agendas. Saint John Paul emphasized that point when he wrote about preparing for the new millennium. He explained that the future has to “be centered in Christ himself who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him, transform history.” (Novo Millennio Ineunte)
The third is to stay very close to Mary, our Blessed Mother, and to ask her to accompany us in our journey. Mary has already traveled the path we are walking. She has certainly known the joys and sorrows of life. We should strive, then, to imitate her faith and her trust knowing that “never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help, or sought her intercession was left unaided.”
Trusting in God, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, and walking with Mary — with these virtues we can be confident that regardless of what comes our way as a Diocese in the future, we’ll be just fine.
Something to think about: These keys to the future can be helpful for your life too!