“The Future Is Ours”

Leroy HuizengaBlog1 Comment

Inheritance is a very important word in the Old Testament, where it is said to Abraham that his seed will be the heir of the land, and this has always been the promise for his people: you will have the land, you will be heirs of the land. In the New Testament this word becomes a word for us: we are heirs, not of a certain country, but of the land of God, of the future of God. Inheritance is a thing of the future, and thus this word says above all that as Christians we have the future: the future is ours, the future belongs to God. And thus, being Christians, we know that ours is the future and the tree of the Church is not a dying tree, but the tree that grows ever anew. We therefore have a reason not to allow ourselves to be disturbed – as Pope John said – by the prophets of disaster who say: the Church is a tree come from the mustard seed, grown over two millennia, now it has time behind it, now is the time in which it is dying. No. The Church is always renewed, is always reborn. The future is ours.
 
Naturally, there is a false optimism and a false pessimism. A false pessimism that says: the time of Christianity is finished. No: it is beginning again! The false optimism was that after the Council, when the convents were closing, the seminaries were closing, and they were saying: but it’s nothing, everything’s fine . . . No! Everything is not fine. There are also grave, dangerous downfalls, and we must recognize with healthy realism that this is not all right, it is not all right when wrongful things are done. But also to be sure, at the same time, that if here and there the Church is dying because of the sins of men, because of their unbelief, at the same time it is being born anew. The future really does belong to God: this is the great certainty of our life, the great, true optimism that we know. The Church is the tree of God that lives forever and bears within itself eternity and the true inheritance: eternal life.
 
Pope Benedict, February 8, to students at Rome’s major seminary, reflecting on the letter of 1 Peter (source)

One Comment on ““The Future Is Ours””

  1. I suggest It would be a real help to put the text of I Peter up alongside the Pope’s’ reflection on those words which are a call to live with our future in view.

    he starts by making a statement we have been given new birth into a living hope in ch. 1:3

    Then he goes on to expound upon the inheritance we have in heaven–one that will never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you who through faith are shielded by God’s power ( v4-5)
    Until the coming of salvation that is ready to be revealed…..etc. etc. I Peter 1:4-9

    When the people hear that what the prophets searched to find and the angels stand on tiptoes to see is already theirs they can be called to holiness but not until they own their identity
    (v.7-12)

    And the emphasis is on joy that should accompany this sure hope. And faith is the substance and the Word is the source. (hebrews 11:1, Romans 10:17)

    Benedict expounds on the theme of a sure hope in his encyclical Spe Salviwhich I have shared with several Catholics who have found it very readable and a real help

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