God’s plan for you

– 34th Week in Ordinary Time –

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” [Luke 21:25 – 26]

Recently I was visited by a couple of very nice Jehovah’s Witnesses. The conversation started out promisingly enough – I was asked if I believed in God. When I said ‘yes’ I was told that that was surprising as (according to my guests) most people today are agnostics. However, I was reassured that it appeared that I was not ‘most people’.

We were off to a good start, until I was invited to agree that the world is in a bad state and that we should be worried because God is clearly very angry with us and we need to be afraid. They told me that God is soon going to strike the world down for its wickedness. I tentatively noted that I did not agree.

My guests were surprised at my response and wondered how a person could believe in God on one hand but not believe that the world was about to be punished on the other. Recognising that my two guests were quite perplexed I felt the need to explain myself. I put it this way:

To be fixated on the thought that God has a future plan for dealing with the world and with the harm caused by humanity is to fail to recognise God’s current plan. The Kingdom of heaven is among us. If we are attentive, we see signs of God at work all over the place. Every act of kindness and compassion, every parent who wants something better for his or her children, and every teacher wanting to pass on knowledge and an appreciation of life is inspired to do so because God is at work in their lives. They may not recognise that they are working in accord with God’s plan for the world, but they are. Every good act is a participation in the life of God and performed in response to, and in the strength of, God’s grace.

However, that does not mean that there is room for complacency. While God’s will shall be done, and God’s plan will be achieved, we must beg for the grace for it to be reflected in us. So the question is: do our lives as we live them every day reveal the presence of the kingdom of God or obscure it?

Attend to addressing that, and when and how God does whatever it is God has in mind will look after itself. Pay attention to how you live, and leave the timing of what God is doing to God (see Matthew 24:36).

By Shane Dwyer

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