Both the first reading and the gospel address the fragility and finiteness of our earthly structures both literally and figuratively. We can build and build, making bigger and taller structures yet none will be permanent, and all will eventually fall. This finite nature is not limited to physical structures, nations, societies; political realms are all just as fragile. There is only one eternal aspect of life -- our Faith. Just as for St. Cecilia and the other martyrs, life on this earth will challenge us in a variety of ways and will pass but it is our Faith that will sustain us and save us. Everything, save the love of God, is transient.
It seems easy for us to believe that we have control over these things. We go on our merry way thinking that we will be here forever -- we accumulate possessions as though we are going to take them with us. I still occasionally see the bumper sticker that says, 'He who dies with the most toys wins.' What exactly does he win? Eternal life? Happiness? Our precious lives are short and we need to live them in Faith and to reject the pressures that amassing things is a way to win. Two friends of ours were recently on a lovely vacation when he suffered a heart attack and passed away – another reminder that life is, indeed, transient. This short time on earth needs to be spent wisely. As the responsorial psalm proclaims: Give glory and eternal praise to Him!!
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