Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Twenty-Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time: Eternal Life, Anyone?

Twenty-Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Gospel is direct to the point; you want eternal life? Then, free yourself from everything and if I may add, everyone! The scene is very vivid. Here we have a rich man who may have only wish for one thing more. That one thing could not be acquired by his riches nor his talents. That one thing can only be given. And it is the Lord Jesus who can. I am sure he
 humbled himself before Jesus confident that his track record as a believer suffices. Then, he got the shock of his life. It turned out that none of what he has could obtain that one thing! Worse, when confronted with the choice between his many possessions and that one thing, he chose the former!

What do we have here? Simply that what is of the world is of the world. The created world has no value and place in eternal life. When we finally leave this earth, we should be free from them. We can even say that unless one has become completely free from the world he can not attain eternal life. The words of Jesus reverberate here; "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own soul?" Even the whole of the world can not do anything to merit eternal life.

Which brings us to the main issue here. How important is eternal life to you? The answer here will determine the way we relate with this world. If, like the man, our possessions or life here ranks better, then we will also leave Jesus. If not, then we will be willing to give up everything for that one thing which is eternal life.

Jesus does not really meant hat as soon as we make this decision, instantly we will gather everything we have and dispose them. No. Jesus just wanted to establish who is most important to us. That whenever it is required, we must ready to give them all up. St. Ignatius calls it "inordinate attachment". We can have ownership but never enslaved by them. Sabi nga sa wika natin, "Kung meron, salamat. Kung mawala, salamat din!" Our life does not stand on those things but only on God. At most, we use them to advance our relationship with God. And yes, even our life is included in this. Martyrs are good examples of that. As St. paul said, "Nothing can separate us from the love of God". Nothing too should stop us from attaining eternal life. This is very timely because in a week's time, another Filipino saint and martyr will be recognized by the Church. They exemplify the very message of he Gospel today. Different from the rich man, Lorenzo and Pedro heeded Jesus and abandoned their very lives to follow Him!

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