Readings: Wisdom 1.13-15,2.23-24; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8.7,9,13-15; Mark 5.21-43 (See the readings at usccb.org)
It’s no secret that music can be an incredibly powerful thing. It can uplift the soul in ways that few other things in this world can. And there’s one song in particular that has been in my heart and on basically endless repeat since it came out. It’s by Catholic artist Matt Maher, from his newest CD, Saints and Sinners. The song is titled “A Future Not My Own,” and it comes from a prayer inspired by Blessed Oscar Romero.
This song – and the rest of the album – came out one week after I found out that I’d be moving to Holy Spirit Parish in Saskatoon. And again, I’ve found to be very consoling and uplifting and even challenging, as good music can do. Here are some of the lyrics:
We see the start but You see the end
We see in part but Your love sees everything
We plant the seeds but You make them grow
We’re building a house, You’re building a home
This is the great unknown
Love is a long and narrow road
Come chase this heart of stone
I need a future not my own
How insightful and how true this is! We are all a part of something so much bigger than us, so much more vast than what we can imagine. We only see part of the magnificent plan of God, but he knows all. We plant seeds, but he makes them grow. We try to live in love, which can be such a long and narrow path. What we need is to know that there is a future not of our own making, a future that transcends this time and place, a future that fills us with hope.
And as I’ve been considering my future and our future, this is the refrain that has constantly been with me. Our future; my future; your future — is only complete in the arms of the One who made us and who saves us.
My future; your future; our future is Jesus Christ. He is the source of everything. He’s why we exist here and now. As Fr. Robert Barron likes to say, his love here and now creates the universe.
And what does this God of ours offer us today, in this amazing story of the raising of this little girl? To me, it boils down to the line he speaks to Jairus: “Do not fear; only believe.”
Do not fear. Do not fear your future. If Jesus is with you, then there is no need for fear. If Jesus is with us, then we find mercy for sin, we find hope in the cross, and we find life out of death. He will guide us to that eternal future that’s not of our own making. By his mercy he’ll bring us to heaven.
Do not fear; only believe. Or, as another translation puts it, Do not be afraid; just have faith. And as he raised the daughter of Jairus to life, so he can raise us to eternal life.
I am preaching this as much for me as I am for anyone else. Change is hard. But he who calls is always faithful. It’s not that I always understand what he’s doing, at least not in the moment. But Jesus is so faithful! He conquers even death itself!
So let’s commit ourselves to something today. When Jesus says, “only believe”; “just have faith” — as we recite the Creed together today, let’s commit ourselves to do just that: To have faith in him; He is our Saviour! Commit yourself to always walk with him; to never give up. He never gives up on us!
We may be separated by the distance of highway 5 to Saskatoon. But I want us all to spend an eternity together. Commit yourself to seek Jesus, here, in his Church, in his sacraments, which are our life lines — especially the Eucharist and frequent confession — and seek him regularly in prayer. Walk with Jesus, who is here, in his Eucharist, and let him lead you to heaven. Let him lead you to this future that is not your own. Do not fear; only believe!
This is the great unknown.
Love is a long and narrow road.
Come chase this heart of stone.
I need a future not my own.
“A Future Not My Own” by Matt Maher: