Now We Work for a Short Time
22nd Sunday Ordinary Time
September 3, 2017
“What profit would there be for a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
This quote is one of my favorites, and one I try to live by. Jesus is right around the corner, and when we do see him face to face he will reward us according to the measure of our conduct on earth (yes, it’s right in the gospel quoted above!). Keeping this in mind can help clarify many things and help us daily to cultivate fields that will produce goodness, and help us not to waste all our time on temporary things.
But the person who wants to be happy with the harvest without cultivating his field is deluding himself; the person who wants to harvest fruit without planting trees is mistaken….at present…we work hard for a short time like people bent over good work. But afterwards, we will rejoice without end because of the fruit of that work.”
St. Caesarius of Arles (470-543), Monk and Bishop
This is God’s world; he created it and one day soon he will judge each of us and assign us a place in the next world, which will last forever. This will happen to every single person who has ever lived. We who have had the privilege of knowing our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, have great insights as to what pleases God. Indeed, we have each been chosen for a special mission in a troubled world that does not know who God even is.
So many chase after temporary things or evil and damaging things (which we call sin), in effect selling their souls, as Jesus says in his gospel, for material goods or fame and power, lust and treasure that will not last.
The field we are to cultivate is the world we find around us, allowing the Lord to sanctify the very moments of our lives through selfless acts and accepting the crosses God permits, of sacrificing ourselves for others and being a force for good around us, battling our sins and leaving the whole work of our lives to the Holy Spirit who will guide everything. We work now for a short time, but one day we will rejoice forever over the fruits of that work. Now that’s what I call a good investment.