This evening I am going to have dinner with a close priest-friend and his family. Our friendship originated from our college seminary days. His family is gathering for a special occasion tonight: the celebration of the 100th birthday of their “mom-mom.”
Msgr. Greg’s grandmother turns 100 today. Wow! To live for an entire century! Interestingly enough, she is not the first person whom I have known personally to reach that milestone.
Time for a brief history lesson: on March 4, 1913, Woodrow Wilson became the President of the United States. There have been 16 U.S. presidents subsequently. “Mom-mom” has lived through World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm (Gulf War), Iraq and Afghanistan and now the war against terror. Communism came into being in her lifetime, as well as the historic fall of the Berlin Wall.
Back in 1913, a pound of bacon was a quarter and a loaf of bread a nickel. You could buy a gallon of milk for about 35 cents (usually distributed in quart bottles delivered by the milkman). The Ford Model T sold for $550.00 and gasoline cost about 8 cents a gallon. Coffee was about 30 cents a pound—the price of K-Cups or anything Starbucks would have seemed insane!
Technology moved at a most unbelievable pace during this century—to the point that most people cannot be without their personal computer, Smartphone or the internet. We have seen people travel to the moon, and currently have still others living continually in outer space.
Pope St. Pius X headed the Catholic Church in 1913. We have most recently witnessed popes coming from Poland, Germany and now Argentina.
Through it all . . . Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13:8) And we believe that He remains with His Church always—through everything that happens! (See Mt. 28:20)
It’s hard to predict exactly what the future will hold in the next century—let alone in the next days, weeks or months. When we need certainty and a sense of permanence--something to build upon into the future—it is Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life that He offers to us that gives meaning, purpose and direction to our lives.
No matter how long we live—even if it is a hundred years or more—it is barely a blink of an eye when it comes to eternity. Don’t be foolish and unprepared for eternity.
While every “thing” in the world will come and go, when we reach the end of our earthly existence, Jesus Christ will remain. He was, is and forever will be. In the end, He will be all that matters.
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Lk 12:34)
Fr. Ed Namiotka