Live for Heaven

Friends in Christ,[i] in the Gospel today, Our Lord shows us that the values of a Christian are opposite of the world. ‘Blessed are the poor, Woe to the rich, Blessed are those weeping.’ He turns the world’s values upside down.
.
St. Cyril tells us, when Jesus says ‘Blessed are the poor,’ he is telling us to set our hearts on the higher things. St. Basil says, there are poor people who are greedy, so being poor is not the virtue; it is, as St Matthew says, being poor in spirit – it’s about not being attached to things of this world.
.
Having commanded us to simplicity of life, Jesus then says ‘Blessed are those who hunger.’ Saying ‘no’ to our desires, denying ourselves, this will generate a hunger in us, but a holy hunger, the hunger of self-control, of self-mastery.
.
Living the simplicity of the Christian life, we will see how foolish the path of sinners is, a path of destruction and emptiness; we will weep for them. We will feel a sadness not only for our own sins, but for those of others: ‘Blessed are those who weep.’
nevertheless, weeping over sins leads to the joy of God in the soul, and this is the laughing that Jesus says will result, joy in the heart.
.
St. Augustine often said, be sure to use the things of the world for higher ends. The things of this life should never be desired for their own sake, but only as far as they are useful in the work of God.
.
Pope Francis has been urging us to live a simpler life; give alms, stop pampering ourselves.
Recently I stopped at a little watch repair shop; An old man with a beard came out of the back room.
‘Can you fix it, I asked him?’
‘We ca fix any-ting,’ he said.
He seemed like the perfect kind of mysterious, old man, to work in a watch repair shop!
Another customer suggested that I just buy a new watch instead, he was showing me some nice ones. I said, ‘Don’t tempt me!’ I have to be satisfied with what I have.’
The old man, taking the jeweler’s glass from his eye, looked up and said:
‘Dis is da message of da Church, no? Be satisfied.’
‘Yes,’ I said.
.
We can ‘TAKE’ in this life; live for today, while the takin is good. But that will be IT for us. ‘Woe to you rich, you have received your reward.’ Or we can delay our gratification, and live simply, with our eyes on the Eternal Rewards ahead, which are much greater.

 

[i] Catena Aurea; see also, William Barclay, Daily Study Bible

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation