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in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

September 22nd, 2013
James Doyle
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[135] Amos 8:4-7
Ps 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
1 Tim 2:1-8
Luke 16:1-13

“You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

Eternity is forever.  It seems like a simple enough idea, but let me say it again.  Eternity is FOREVER.  When time ceases to exist and each one of us enters into eternity, there are only going to be two kinds of people:  those who are in Heaven and those who are not.  That is the way things will stay forever.

If we devote our lives to things of this world, if we strive for worldly success, worldly power, and earthly glory, we may find it.  We may succeed in the ways of this life, live in a nice house, drive a fancy car, and live comfortably all the days of our life.  But if we go to hell, we are nothing but big losers.  None of our successes will follow us.  No one in hell ever brags about the kind of car they drove.  No one boasts about their earthly accomplishments because, in doing so, they separated themselves from God.  No one cares about what they had in this life when they are suffering in the fires of hell for all of eternity.

On the other hand, we might not live in the nicest house in the nicest neighborhood of our town.  We might not be living the life that once dreamed for ourselves.  We might not have the newest phone or the most up-to-date technology, but if we make it to Heaven, we have won the ultimate prize, and nothing else matters.  No one in Heaven ever talks about the kind of car they once drove.  No one even mentions their earthly successes because they are living in the Beatific Vision.  They are seeing God face-to-face, living in the joy of His presence, abiding in His lasting and fulfilling Peace, and nothing else matters.

Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God, not the fulfillment of our own pleasures.  Then, and only then, will we be given our hearts’ deepest desires.  When we pursue God first, we might encounter success in this life, but we will never pursue earthly success  and find God along the way.  It’s a hard lesson to learn, and we are human.  We are going to struggle with it, but we must realize that the Lord only desires to give us what is good.  He has our best interest in mind.  He knows what we want, but even more importantly He knows what we need.  Fortunately for us, He loves us enough to give us the latter, rather than the former.

For as long as I can remember, my Mom made sure this poem was visible in our kitchen, and now, it is my pleasure to share it with you:

Life is short and death is sure
The hour of death remains obscure;
A soul you have and only one
If that is lost all hope is gone;
Waste not time while time shall last
For after death it’s ever past;
All seeing God your judge will be
Heaven or hell your destiny;
All earthly things will fade away
Eternity alone will stay.

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