Puffs of smoke – Tomorrow’s reading reflection


The message of Jesus is so very simple, but often I don’t want to hear it. Help the poor, love my enemies and don’t be so obsessed with wealth and power. All wonderful ideas and ones I cheer with my whole heart. Well, most of it.

Today’s readings challenge us not to be so confident and self-assured. Not to be arrogant.  In the first reading, James cautions us not to count on our own plans to get us through life because “you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.”

Maybe that lack of control in life is what makes me less willing to turn my life so completely over to God. In the morning, I can pray to surrender my whole life to Jesus. Then I spend the rest of the day wresting it back from him a little at a time. “Let me have just this one part back,” I will bargain. “Oh, and that one, too.”

I don’t like not being in control and all Jesus is asking is that I trust in him more. I don’t have to know what is over the next hill or the next week. But if I trust in Jesus’ presence in my life and in his loving care for me, whatever does come in life will be easier for me, whether I am in “control” or not.

(Adapted from Maureen McCann Waldron)