REJOICE AND BE GLAD FOR YOUR REWARD WILL BE GREAT IN HEAVEN
(WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2019)
The reading today and the Beatitudes can be put in a different perspective. The Beatitudes are really about choices, not about circumstances. In the first reading, St. Paul is saying that everyone has the opportunity for Salvation by following Christ. Anyone who chooses Christ, who chooses right, who dies to his evil past, can be saved in Jesus.
The circumstances of birth do not matter here – Greek or Jew, slave or free, white or black, priest or religious everyone has the choice to follow Christ. Anyone can choose charity over greed, can choose a spiritual path over a material path, choose love over anger, and can choose truth over lies. We must choose the right path, choose the way of the Lord, choose to die to our old evil ways, so when we do die, we will have salvation. And if we do not make that choice, salvation will not be ours. This is exactly what Paul meant when he says “since you have been brought back to life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven where Christ is sitting at the God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth because you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”. Thus Paul’s statement has to do with making choices that will unite us with God, not the ones that will destroy us.
In the Gospel, Jesus says that the poor are blessed, but not just those who happen to be poor. I guess poor people can be selfish or angry or untruthful as much as the rich can.
The point is in the choice of a spiritual path. Those who have chosen to be poor, perhaps by being generous and charitable will have their reward in heaven for those choices. Those who choose hunger by sharing their food are blessed. Those who suffer because they follow Jesus, those who are persecuted because of their spiritual path, will get their reward in heaven.
But those who are selfish and greedy – who are rich but do not share their wealth with those in need, those who eat and drink in excess while others starve at their door, who indulge with no compassion, woe to them. They laugh at others’ misfortunes, but they will not have salvation who have no compassion.
It’s not about circumstances. Being born poor or being born rich will not determine whether we get to heaven or not? A poor person could still end up not getting to heaven or a rich one making heaven based on choices.
The rich man who is greedy, selfish and ruthless is not going to find salvation, but the charitable one might. Rich man, poor man, Greek or Jew, whoever puts away what is evil, angry, and selfish and chooses to live a charitable compassionate life will find salvation in the next.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me grace to follow you and do your will always so that in the end I will enjoy beatific vision in heaven. Amen.