John Quincy Adams was the 6th president of the United Sates. He died in 1848. When he was 80 years old, a friend asked him one day how he was. He replied, “John is very well, thank you. But the house he lives in is sadly dilapidated. It is tottering on its foundations. The walls are badly shattered and the roof is worn. The building trembles with every wind. And I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of It before long. But he himself is very well, thank you!” Adams was talking of
course about his aging body. And all of us as we get older know well what he means. In spite of all the vitamins we take or how much exercise we get, our bodies, bit by bit, wear down and there’s not much we can do about it. It saddens all of us when we can’t do any longer the things we used to do with ease. Faced with all that, there are two things we need to do. First of all, thank God that we have lived long enough to have those problems. A long life is not guaranteed to us and if we’re old enough to experience our bodies wearing out, God has blessed us with years that, in His wisdom, He has not given to many others. But secondly, like Adams, we can look forward to and rejoice in God’s promise of eternal life. In many places in the Gospels, Christ promises that those who believe in Him will live with Him forever, and His Resurrection is the proof of His power to deliver on that promise. Our hope is summed up beautifully by St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians. He says, “We know that when this tent we live in...our body here on earth... is torn down, God will have a house in heaven for us to live in, a home He himself has made, which will last forever.” (5:1) What a future is ours!