There are two things: the promise, and the response.
The promise has echoed down through the ages. God called Abraham and promised descendents as numerous as the sands on the sea shore or the stars in the sky. Through Moses, God made known his intent to bring his people out of slavery and into the promised land. Through Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, who speaks in today’s Psalm, God announces that he will make good on his promise to send a Messiah to his people. And through Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of all the promises, we have the promise of salvation and eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. From Abraham to us today, the promises has echoed, and still echoes, in the Church and in the world, down through the ages. There is the promise.
The response has always taken many different forms. One would think the response would be complete adoration, obedience, and devotion to our God who keeps his promise. But sometimes the response has been arrogance, thinking that anything good that happens is the result of our own feeble efforts, like the foolish rich man in today’s Gospel. Sometimes the response has been entitlement, as if we were actually worthy of grace, and due the gifts that come our way. Sometimes the response has been apathy or disinterest, not even taking the time to notice the graces and blessings that come to us. Sometimes the response has been outright rejection – refusing the gift and ignoring the Giver. Sometimes we have been very unworthy and unappreciative of the promise.
But there is still the promise. And there is always time for a different, better, more appropriate response.