Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul. Was it worth it?

“Modern prophets say that our economics have failed us. No! It is not our economics which have failed; it is man who has failed-man who has forgotten God. Hence no manner of economic or political readjustment can possibly save our civilization; we can be saved only by a renovation of the inner man, only by a purging of our hearts and souls; for only by seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Justice will all these other things be added unto us.” - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, The Prodigal World

Gospel Text: (MT 19:23-30)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

So what message do we take home today?

1. Those who enter the narrow gate will enjoy the Father's eternal banquet, but one has to strive to enter that narrow gate with determination as if it were a question of life and death.

2. It is not enough to be baptized. St. Paul reminds us that there is a discipline to be followed; there are values to live by.

3. When that day comes, it will not be enough to claim that we went to CCD classes or were confirmed or we have gone to Church ever so often and have given our Church offerings on occasion.

4. Good deeds of the past by themselves will not buy a ticket into heaven; they must be matched by a life worthy of our Christian calling.

The bottom line is whether you and I will be inside or outside! The choice is mine and yours.

In our days there are men and women that are finding the "narrow gate." Through it shall enter those who work to live love faithfully, who live to serve their neighbor, who know how to live with a sense of solidarity.

Who will be saved?

When the moment of truth comes there will be many surprises. Many of those who were last will be first, and vice versa.

This is a warning, a call to commitment. Let us tell Christ, "Lord, you can do everything; grant me the grace of salvation."

I suppose if you are determined, no space is too narrow. Except one...

...Jesus says in our lesson for today, "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able...." do not grow discouraged as you attempt often with little success to put on Christ. "The only way to fail," says St Teresa of Avila, "is to stop."

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