The story is told of a tribal chief who lay dying. He summoned three of the leading men of the tribe and said to them, “I have no son and I must select a successor. Climb our holy mountain and return with the most precious gift you can find. “ The first brought back a huge gold nugget. The second returned with a priceless gem. The third came back empty handed, saying, “When I reached the mountaintop, I saw on the other side a beautiful land where people could go for a better life.“ The chief said to the third man, “You shall succeed me. You have brought back the most precious gift of all: a vision for a better tomorrow.”
We who are disciples of Jesus must remember that He has given us a vision for a better tomorrow, a vision for the world as the Father has always intended it to be. And we must “announce it from the housetops”. (Matt. 10:27) When we stop to think about it, that vision is breathtaking. It states that God created everything out of love and that everything is good. It teaches that every person, every one of us, is a unique never to be repeated and beloved son or daughter of that God who loves us so much that He sent Christ into the world to rescue us from sin and death. It holds up the truth that we should understand ourselves, no matter what our race or nationality, as brothers and sisters who together are invited to bring God’s creation to perfection and fulfillment. It envisions a world where peace and justice and mutual caring are fully lived and where each person’s dignity and specialness is protected and celebrated. And finally it promises that in God’s time, everything will be caught up and transformed into the glory of the new life revealed in Christ’s resurrection. No philosophy, no other religion, no great thinker has ever taught such a wonderful understanding of the meaning of life. Indeed, we must proclaim it from the housetops both in what we say and in what we do.