Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Consequence of our Lives

Thirty Third Ordinary Sunday Year B

There are consequences to the way we live. Every action of ours has a consequence. Sometimes we see the consequences of our actions in our present life. For example, when we drink and smoke without restraint, we see these habits have an effect on our health. If we have not paid our attention to our studies when we were young we would most likely have to struggle on a low pay for the rest of our lives. When we steal and cheat, we would soon be exposing ourselves to the law.

But there are some consequences that we may not see in this life. Some people are able to live rich and comfortable lives in spite of their sinful lifestyle. Others seem to get away with the crimes they have committed without being caught by the police. Still many others go through life without thinking of God or placing him last on our list of priorities. But that doesn’t mean that our actions have no consequences. In fact, we are reminded by the readings today that it is to these actions that we must pay special attention. Ultimately we will be called to account for our every action or omission. If not now, then on Judgment Day.

The problem that we often face is this: because we don’t see the consequences of our negative actions in our present life, we may erroneously believe that there are no consequences. Many people live their lives with this misconception. Unless we wake up to the truth that we shall be accountable for our every action, we will die without the opportunity to mend our ways. All will be judged on the Last Day. All our actions, our mistakes, our good deeds, our sins, our failures, our successes would be made clear on that day. In spite of the mercy of God, no one can escape judgment.

The first reading from the prophet Daniel reminds us that “of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace. The learned will shine brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars for all eternity.” Let us hope and pray that on the Last Day we will rise to everlasting life and glory and be able to shine as bright stars in heaven for all eternity. But we are also reminded that unless we take our faith seriously, unless we begin to live up to our identity as Christians, another fate may await us – we may wake up to shame and everlasting disgrace.

We are approaching the end of the year. There is still time to amend our ways now. Don’t wait till tomorrow or next month or next year. As Jesus reminds us in the gospel today: “but as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.” For some of us the Day of Judgment will come sooner than others. Be ready to give an account of your life when you are called to meet the Lord.

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