SAINTS JOHN DE BRÉBEUF AND ISAAC JOGUES, PRIESTS, AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS (MEMORIAL)
We are . . . created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has prepared in advance.
“God has a plan for your life.” It’s a phrase we hear all the time. But what does it mean for us?
We often think it’s all about specifics: we want assurances about the future, to know what particular thing we should do next. But the Catechism, in its very first paragraph, takes a broader view: “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life” (1). In other words, God cares about our everyday decisions, but his central desire is to bring us into his presence and fill us with his life and his love. The specifics we tend to be preoccupied with are only part of this bigger goal.
Our first reading today can help us see this big picture. God’s plan is always for our salvation. It is always to bring us to life in Christ, even when sin has cut us off from him, even when we are following the ways of the world and our own desires (Ephesians 2:4-5). That’s because God is rich in mercy and lovingly raises us up to life with Christ (2:6). He makes it possible for us to live in faith so that his deepest desire—our becoming like Christ—can unfold.
We want answers, and God wants our love. We want out of our challenging situations, and God wants to walk through them with us. We want specific directions, and God wants to set up guardrails for us and then finds a way to draw us back if we make bad choices. Because he has one goal in mind: making us ready for the heavenly life he has promised us.
So is it God’s plan that my daughter gets into her dream college—or doesn’t? Or that I get a promotion at work—or don’t? Or that my spouse struggles with illness—or lives to a ripe old age? Of course, he doesn’t cause suffering or sickness. But he does work through all of these situations. He wants to use every detail of our lives—our circumstances, our relationships, our triumphs, and our disappointments—to help us live fully. That’s God’s good plan!
“Lord, I want to grow closer to you!”