Our Eternal Happiness

THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIMES

Mal.3:19-20/Ps.97:5-9/2Thess.3:7-12/21:5-9


Our Eternal Happiness


Unwavering love and undivided devotion to God will be the cause of our eternal happiness. “The sun of righteousness,” says Malachi, “will shout out with healing in its rays (Mal.3:20).” This means the devout children of God will be the luminaries of the heavens. The Beatitudes are true witnesses of this promise. To be complacent and indifferent, lukewarm as Revelation 3:20 says, is to court our eternal rejection, damnation and utter destruction. The callous indifference of the rich man towards Lazarus bears eloquent testimony to this truth.


God’s plan is our peace and our salvation (2Chr.7:14). Humankind’s fascination with the aesthetics of the material world obstructs their search for divine perfection, eternal peace and true happiness. Their lure towards worldly attractions extracts their interest from complete devotion to God and to Christ. Their hierarchy of needs gets muddled in the process. As victims of this dilemma, God and Christ still look upon them with empathy – even when they break the first commandment. Christ does not condemn people who are victims under such conditions. He seeks to heal them and redirect their consciousness towards the Father.


When the human needs are uncoordinated, their spiritual values will be in disarray. Distractions will have a field day. Jesus recognized this in today’s Gospel. He did not condemn those who paid lips service to the external beauty of the temple and its votive offerings; instead, Jesus helped them to recognise the perishable nature of the temple and its votive offerings vis-à-vis the imperishable nature of true communion and devotion to God. In so doing, Jesus reminded his audience that all flesh is grass but the word of God endures forever (Is.40:6).


The modern world is laced with structural distractions; people also have to contend with fabricated and natural disasters, betrayals and deception, which sometimes drive them into despondency and complacency – even imposing on their faith and morals. Jesus warns us, even under such grim conditions, be faithful and we will win the crown of salvation. Paul also warns us against our lax attitude and our calm indifference towards work that can easily turn us into a nuisance for others. God created us to be collaborators and contributors with him in building the kingdom – not mendicants and troublemakers.


Let us, therefore, rise from our complacency and indifference. Let us take our social and religious responsibilities seriously. Let us be genuine coworkers and contributors with Christ and make the Lord’s Prayer a lived reality.


O God, grant us the grace to use wisely the time, talents and treasure you have entrusted to us for the building of your kingdom here on earth.

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