Corpus Christi Blog

Love now and be ready for eternal life.

11-20-2016HomiliesFr. Reynaldo Clutario

The story is told about a man who was so scared and nervous during his first plane ride. The man beside him suggested that he get a glass of whisky from the flight attendant. Which he did and which he downed in one gulp. When he asked if he could get another one, the man beside him pointed out to the button above his head and told him to press it if he wanted another drink, whereupon he stood up and pushed the button and held his glass underneath. (When we are scared sometimes our mind does not work well.)

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Many have misinterpreted these verses. As a result, they sold everything they own, left their family and career and joined religious sects and cults specializing in the imminent fulfillment of these end-time predictions. Unfortunately, some of these cults ended up in mass suicides. Others, until now, are still waiting for this end time to happen, and while waiting they serve their leaders for free with hope that at the end time they will be saved by them. A few realized the hoax and left the community.

Usually at the end of our liturgical calendar of our church, the themes of the liturgical readings are about the last things, e.g. Death, judgment, heaven and hell. In the gospel, Jesus describes the end of the world in terms of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Likewise, he mentions about wars, conflicts, tensions, calamities, persecutions, etc. as indicators or signs that the end of the world is coming. We are living in an age characterized by the continuing or never-ending wars and conflicts specially in Syria, parts of Africa, also in the Southern part of the Philippines where Muslims “Abu Sayaf” do their terroristic activities and lately we heard of natural calamities like typhoon that struck some parts of the Philippines, earthquake in Italy and other parts of the world.

Jesus said, “All these things will happen but don’t be afraid.” This reminds us of the temporariness of our earthly existence. Though life is short and temporary we are reminded to prepare ourselves spiritually. We are to prepare for the fact of life that we are always in danger of death and the phenomenon of aging.

Our present life will determine the kind of life after death. Good people will be rewarded and those unrepentant will be punished or go to hell. Therefore we are called to live a virtuous life. We must be attuned always to God’s will and make sure that our own life is aligned with God and his will and we must be faithful obeying God’s commandments.
He assures us in today’s gospel, “Do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” However, these verses also serve as wake-up calls for us and to re-align our lives to Christ’s teachings. We should not wait until these wake-up calls really happen before we change our lives. It might be too late.

The message is not so much about catastrophes and destruction but about God’s love and concern for our conversion and salvation. But instead of focusing on fear, which could paralyze and even overwhelm us, like the man who got scared when he rode on a plane for the first time, our focus should be on trust and hope.  Instead of looking on the gloom and the doom, we should look forward to our salvation and our going to our eternal home.

Instead of focusing on what could or what might happen, why not just be grateful and trusting? “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself! Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Mt. 6, 34). If time is short, then let’s go for quality time! Instead of constantly calculating or counting, why not indeed concentrate on living and loving? Live as Christian, and say, “Love now and be ready for eternal life.”