November 17, 2017
(St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious)
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan; Wis_13:1-9
Jesus said, “I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.” They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.” Lk_17:26-37
Sometimes we are blanketed with the solace of blessings from the Scripture Readings, and other times there are some pretty scary warnings. Today is just one of those days.
You know, this morning I was standing in front of our Church, admiring a beautiful, pre-sunrise sky, with a bright, crescent moon and the beautiful appearance of Venus and Jupiter right next to it.
We have a fall-bare birch tree in the landscaped circle at our Church entrance, and those astronomical wonders stood just to the right of that tree.
As the sun began to brighten the dark night sky; just to the Left of the tree, there were several contrails from passing jets.
And the whole scene just reminded me of: the Glory of God’s Creation to the right and the revulsion of mankind’s inventiveness to the left, with the “Tree of good and evil” or maybe, the “Tree of everlasting life,” standing there, in the middle, behind a large wooden cross.
The Wisdom writer warns us today to be very careful with our interpretations of those signs. Yes, God created the beauty of nature, in the moon and the stars and the trees to bring us the solace of their presence. But they were never meant to replace or to be a substitute for His own magnificence; a magnificence far beyond, even the most magnificent of things that we’ve ever experienced, here in the flesh.
A fact that we must never forget: God IS the Creator, and all of this is just His handiwork.
And yes, mankind has constructed and done some pretty harmful things, like burning dirty fuels, though they do warm our homes and allow us to travel more easily. Like building bombs and concocting harmful chemicals, though they have protected us from enemies, and pests, and diseases.
But WE are, really not that bad.
It’s just that in some of our works, we have been a little careless with not thinking them through to the end, for the sake of speed or wealth.
And some of our works have been done without even thinking of God our Creator, or the awesome home He has given us.
Jesus said, “whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it, will save it.”
That means, beloved, that True Life is not about this temporary existence in the flesh. True life is about an Eternal, Spiritual Existence with God our Father, with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit.
But that doesn’t mean that we should seek death. It means, instead, that we have a very short time here to be the very best disciples we can; to enjoy God’s Creation, to take care of it and share its beauty and its resources with everyone in need, without clinging to anything that’s material, even to the extent of our own bodies.
When we can become SO enamored, so dependent, so in Love with our God; and when we can love this life, that He’s given us, enough to be willing to give it up for Him, then we will have saved our True Lives forever.
And in the process, we will discover that we are actually living His Kingdom – right here and now. Which is exactly where He wants us to be!
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