“Getting our priorities right, and in humility, seeking to protect ‘the suitcases of our souls!’”
(Based on 2 Jn 1:4-9 and Lk 17:26-37 – Friday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time)
A humorous story is told of a heavy-weight boxer who would greatly brag about his prowess…
… and speak of how he would “he would conquer the world!”
It is said that one day, he came to a big city with two huge suitcases.
As he got down the bus, putting the suitcases down, he looked up to the tall building tower and exclaimed: “I will conquer this city!”
When he looked down, however…
… the suitcases were gone!
Very often, our lives are such…
We dream of conquering the entire world…
… but often fail to even have a control on ourselves!
We become “so worldly” that we fail to give heed “to the world to come!”
We become so occupied with the concerns of our earthly existence that sometimes we “forget about our Heavenly priorities!”
The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus highlighting this essential element of Christian living: Being in the world, but living out of the world, with eyes firmly set on heavenly realms.
Jesus says, “Whoever seeks to gain his life, will lose it, but whoever loses his life, will preserve it” (Lk 17:33)
Very often our lives get too attached to material riches and attachments.
We fall prey to seeking great honour and fame in being a Christian…
… but are unable to grasp the fact that ‘to be a Christian is to be living a life of simplicity’.
We yield to temptations of being obsessed to seek power and positions of futile vanity…
… and fail time and again to live up to the Christian virtues of humility and modesty
We often become victims of engaging in dirty politics and authority-grabbing games…
… and become an anti-witness to the Lord who ‘came to serve, rather than be served’
We need to give heed to the words of the Lord who prayed that “we are in the world, but do not belong to this world” (Jn 17: 15)
A Christian life ought to be hallmarked by detachment and separation…
… detachment from too much of worldly distractions and vain glory
… separation from sinful ways and evil tendencies
It ought to be radiated with total focus and complete dedication…
… total focus on the Lord who ‘walked the talk’ by giving up His life in service
… complete dedication to the Kingdom of God which calls for a humble way of life
The world today is being ‘gripped in sin’, “as it was in the days of Noah” (Lk 17:26)
We need to open our eyes to realize the warning given by the Lord and be ‘on the watch’… … after the example of the destruction of the sinful city of Sodom.
Perhaps our own life… or our family… or our community… our society…
… is resembling the city of Sodom
There is much drunkenness in worldly pleasures!
There is much ‘eating and consumption’ of corrupt practices!
There is much neglect of honest ways and of truthful conduct!
There is much enjoyment of bad, inhuman and cruel behaviours!
Let us deepen…
… our faith in the Lord
… our love for the Kingdom
… and our detachment from riches
St John prompts us: “Look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward!” (2 Jn 4:8)
We are reminded today that as Christians, we are people…
… who live in the world, yet are called to be out of the world.
… who live amidst possibilities of wealth, yet are called to be detached from them.
… who live with the prospect of gaining immense power, yet are exhorted to not be attached
We may be often tempted “to conquer the world and the city”…
… but let’s get our priorities right, and in humility, seek to first protect “the suitcases of our souls!”
Let us seek the intercession of the Saint of the Day – St Frances Xavier Cabrini (the first naturalized citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, on July 7, 1946) – and be inspired by her life and words…
“Rest?” We will have all eternity in which to rest. Now let us work.”
“Pray, pray always, and ask unceasingly for the Spirit of Prayer. The Spirit of Prayer means praying in accordance with the Divine good pleasure, willing only what God wills.
… It means that we have our minds fixed on prayer at all times, in all places, working, walking, eating, speaking, suffering; habitually and always.”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “May the favorable wind of celestial inspirations ever fill your vessel’s sails fuller and fuller…