Let’s be honest – we all live in the world and often find pleasure in earthly experiences and goods. While not necessarily being a bad thing, excessive love of the world’s pleasures is not compatible with being a follower of Christ. In the first reading from today’s Mass, St. John gives us a very powerful warning:
Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 Jn 2:15-16)
It’s important that we put this message in its proper perspective. It is acceptable to enjoy a good meal, a television show, a football game, the company of friends, etc. However, we should not seek all of our pleasure in earthly goods. No matter how enjoyable, the things of this world will one day pass. Therefore, we should always keep “one eye” on our ultimate destination – the kingdom of heaven.
In my past, I was often “too busy” to pray, learn more about my Catholic faith, or to become friends with Jesus. I had a lot of “more important” things to do like listen to music or sports radio, watch television, relax, you name it…almost anything was more important to me than God. I had my priorities in the wrong order, until I was affected by a mystery illness. All of a sudden, I began to think about judgment day. I quickly became aware that when I died, the Lord wasn’t going to quiz me on batting averages and music trivia. Instead, He would be reviewing how I used the time given to me. Did I spend my life serving Him or serving myself?
My friends, time is short and our days on this earth are numbered. Are you too “busy” to pray or to serve the Lord? Do you use your money to buy “things” instead of contributing to the Church or charities? While it is certainly acceptable to enjoy ourselves in this life, let’s make sure that we have our priorities in order. This life will pass…the next one won’t. We need to make sure we end up in the right place!
“Time is short, eternity is long.” (Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman)