Friday, October 24, 2014
29th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 4:1-6
Gospel: Luke 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once: ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when the wind blows from the south, you say: ‘It will be hot’; and so it is. You superficial people! You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you don’t understand the present times. And why do you not judge for yourselves what is fit? When you go with your accuser before the court, try to settle the case on the way, lest he drag you before the judge and the judge deliver you to the jailer, and the jailer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
A funeral parlor was advertised in this fashion: “If you don’t take good care of yourself, we will take good care of you”. While a survey is yet to be conducted on how many percent of cases landing in funeral parlors are cases of natural death, it is safe to conclude that funeral parlors thrive on peoples’ failure to take care of themselves. I had a mentor whose favorite expression was: “If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?” To which I would always reply: “The funeral parlor, of course”. My mentor died of old age and the funeral parlor took very good care of him.
Whether we take good care of ourselves or not, life is finite and it will only be a matter of time before funeral parlors compete on our dead bodies. If funeral parlors should stand as a sign of anything, it is of the shortness of life. We all understand this sign yet many of us live like they are to stay in this world forever. Today’s Gospel laments: “You superficial people! You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you don’t understand the present times.” The present times hang between the present and the future. While it can rest secure on the past, it can never count on the future with certainty. It does not take so much wisdom to understand what the present times stand as sign for.
Understanding this sign should be at a level deep enough to move us to prepare for death. The Gospel suggests reconciliation with our neighbors. The suggestion makes sense in light of the questions God will ask on Judgment Day. God will use our relationship with others as the measure of our love for him. Before death overtakes us and funeral parlors compete over our lifeless bodies let us love God in others today.
To fail in our solemn duty to take care of others is to fail in giving substance to our love for God. This is very dangerous to the soul and can even bring death to it. Mind you, there are no funeral parlors specializing in care for souls. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, as we thank you for the gift of our intelligence, we ask you to give us wisdom so that we may spend life in pursuit of the greater things about Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: Anthony Mary Claret was the founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – the Claretians! Anthony was born at Vich, in Catalonia, Spain, in 1806. In 1829, he entered the seminary at Vich. Ordained to the priesthood in 1835, he went to Rome to work for the Propagation of the Faith. He wrote more than 150 books. But, his patience was tested in the political upheavals of the nineteenth century. In 1849, Anthony gathered together five priests, who formed the Claretians. In 1869, while he was in Rome preparing for the First Vatican Council, he was placed under house arrest in the Cistercian monastery at Font Froide, where he died at the age of 63.