September 9, 2015
(St. Peter Claver, Priest)
Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. Col_3:1-11
If you were given a choice in Life of being: poor, hungry, sad and despised, or rich, filled, happy and famous, which would you choose?
But then, if there was another condition in the fine print, an attached string, that went along with each, that said:
If you cho0se – rich, filled, happy and famous, you would be allowed to have these for one whole month.
But if you choose – poor, hungry, sad and despised, after one month, they would be replaced with rich, filled, happy and famous – for a million years,
– then would you still make the
St. Paul and Jesus – give us two pictures of Life today.
We see what it is in life that can bring us True Joy and reward. And we see what it is that Falsely makes us think we have Joy, when in reality, that joy is only fleeting, and will surely lead us to disaster.
The False Joy derives from a life without any Hope for eternity and without God. It causes us to grab every fleeting moment of goodness that this earth has to offer, without regard for other people. And when hard times befall us, we crumble with no anchor in the storm and no raft in the flood. Our life becomes one of pride alone, jumping from one accomplishment to another with little regard for morality, legality or even common sense. We believe that death is the ultimate end of all life; and in that belief, we greatly fear, and we actually worship death.
Jesus tells us that the earthly temptations that can lead us to this life of False Joy, are things like wealth, full stomachs, carefree happiness and fame.
And St. Paul tells us that when we base our lives purely on this False Joy, those lives may be filled with: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. And our conduct may even include vices like: anger, fury, malice, slander, obscene language and lying.
On the other hand, True Joy derives from a life of HOPE in something better to come, and a reliance upon God. It gives us a reason to accept the hard times when they fall upon us, and work through them, rather than crumble; because we know that we have Jesus as our anchor and our life raft. And it gives us a reason to work hard at being the best US we can possibly be now, so that our reward will be even better in the next life.
Jesus tells us that even though we will still have earthly temptations, He will strengthen us in our times of poverty, hunger, sadness and even when we are persecuted because of our faith in Him. We WILL be Blessed with peace, endurance, eternal happiness and True Joy forever.
And that Hope in eternal life will lead us to understand the reasons for morality, humility, compassion and giving. We will be willing to suffer a little in this life, in order to gain eternity with God, in True Joy.
In our baptisms, St Paul tells us that, “we have died with Christ and our lives are now hidden with Christ in God. So when Christ, our life, appears again, then we too will appear with him in glory.” Col_3:1-11
What beautiful Truth there is in Jesus!
So Rejoice, brothers and sisters in Christ, and leap for joy!
For when we employ a little delayed gratification in this life, then our reward – will be great in heaven. Lk_6:23ab
And we will know that we have clearly made
the right choice!
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