Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Christ is all in all"

Our readings for this Sunday are designed to help us ask ourselves an important question: In the end, what really matters?

What really matters is not how much wealth you have accumulated and hand-on to your heirs. In fact, Qoheleth, the teacher, indicates that this is a bad thing, even an unjust thing. It is not even a matter of how much knowledge you have mastered. What matters is what will bear fruit for eternity. This means that it is not a what that matters, but a who: Jesus Christ.

My dear friend, labor not under the delusion that you will ultimately save yourself, even if you deem yourself to be a "pretty good" person. You cannot withstand the judgment of God. Any reasonably honest self-assessment in light of the demands of perfection laid down by Jesus Christ should be enough to disabuse you of that foolish notion. Realizing this, which is sometimes called "fear of the Lord," is, indeed, the beginning of wisdom.

Do as the apostle Paul urged and "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" because "Christ is all in all."

My friend Artur, whose blog Cosmos the in Lost you should check out if you have not already done so, recently brought to my attention something written by the great Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz that, especially in light of our readings, struck me as an appropriate reflection for this late summer Sunday:
Religion, opium for the people. To those suffering pain, humiliation, illness, and serfdom, it promised a reward in an afterlife. And now we are witnessing a transformation. A true opium for the people is a belief in nothingness after death--the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murders we are not going to be judged
Lest this come across as rank moralism of the worst variety, I ask you also to consider your own heart, what you really want, why you put the time, effort, and energy into the things that you do. Another friend reminded me of something stated by Fr. Julián Carrón, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, some six years ago: "our need, our desire, which we think of as weakness, is precisely what makes us irreducible." In other words, we want to live forever, we want the life, described by St. Augustine in a letter to the wealthy Roman widow, Proba, that is truly life!

Jesus is "the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6).

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