This afternoon, he came again to my residence.
He was broken and depressed. "Is there
hope? What do you think, Father? Is there
hope?" He kept repeating again and again
this question. He wants his marriage, which
has just broken down, to work. He is living
in one place, she is living in another. The
children, as usual - sadly - are living all
around. He wanted to know whether there was
a future for his marriage. Whether there
was a tomorrow…
It was early evening and the company of marines
had stopped the march to have supper. Their
clothes were stiff with dirt and cold. One
of the marines was leaning against a truck
eating his cold meal from a tin can. Everything
about him spoke of hopelessness and exhaustion.
The TV correspondent, who was embedded in
the company, asked a searching question to
the marine. "If I were God and could
grant you anything you wanted, what would
you want most?" The marine stood pensive
for a few moments. Then he looked up at the
reporter and said, "Just give me tomorrow,
Life is made of a yesterday, a today and
a tomorrow. The way I lived yesterday determines
my today. The way I live today determines
my tomorrow. And since we do not live in
a vacuum but we are linked to other people,
the way we live today will affect others.
Just now I got an email from a seventeen
year old girl, not married, who found out
that she is pregnant. What she did yesterday
is effecting her today (she is feeling frantic)
and will condition all her tomorrows. Not
only hers but, alas, also of this baby.
It is true that we cannot alter yesterday.
And we cannot completely determine tomorrow.
Yesterday and tomorrow are not ours. What
we did yesterday in undoable and many times,
things happen tomorrow that have not been
planned by us. But it is also true that today
without a future would be absurd.
Today has a future dimension that gives color
to it. The tomorrow, the vision, the expectation,
the hope makes today livable! Saint Augustine
once wrote that, hope has two beautiful daughters.
Their names are anger and courage; anger
at the way things are, and courage to see
that they do not remain the way they are.
For a Christian, this tomorrow acquires an
immense dimension because eternity is at
stake. There is a legend from the first century
about the disciple Thomas who tradition says
spent his entire life after the resurrection
of Jesus Christ preaching the Gospel in India.
The story goes that Thomas was employed by
a king to build a new palace. He was given
the money to buy the materials and hire the
skilled workers. However Thomas gave all
the money to the poor and continued his mission
of preaching the Gospel. Obviously the day
came when the King insisted that he sees
Evidently, there was no palace to be seen.
Or was there not?! Thomas in effect answered,
"I am sorry, Sir. You can not see it
now, but when you depart this life you shall
see it. I have built you a palace in heaven
by giving your money to the poor and needy
of your kingdom."
The King did not like the answer and had
Thomas thrown in prison. He thought of putting
him to death. However that night the king's
brother died and he saw in heaven the palace
that had been built by Thomas' charitable
work. God gave permission to the brother
to come back and tell the king of the magnificent
palace awaiting him in heaven. Thomas is
freed from prison and the king and his brother
Build tomorrow today. What destroys us many
times is the false conviction that things
will never varies. We look around us and
perceive that nothing changes. Gravity will
always make heavy objects fall towards the
earth. In chemistry, one mixes certain elements
in precise proportion and it will always
yield the same results. Astronomy reveals
to us that the sun, the moon, the stars will
always work in this specific order. Medicine
teaches that the heart, the lungs, the built-in
defense mechanism against diseases will act
in a certain specific way always.
We then translate this in human relationships.
People will never change. Trust once broken
can never be repaired. Certain marriages
are doomed to failure definitely. Once a
drug abuser always a drug abuser….
Well, I do not believe this. I have seen
people changing. I have seen marriages rebuilt.
I have seen characters altered. I have seen
delinquents becoming saints. I have seen
drug addicts and alcohol dependant people
become clean and sober.
This is why, the only thing I told this man
who was at my door this afternoon, was "If
you feel like you're at the end of your rope,
tie a knot and hang on! Because God is a
God of miracles, and He's holding the other
When God comes down, He removes the
difficulties. When God comes down,
becomes possible. When God comes down,
happen. God moves on behalf of the
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
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