Scripture: 1st Reading: Wis13,1-9;Resp. Psalm: Ps19,2-5; Gosp. Accl.: Lk21,28; Gospel: Lk17,26-37
One of the greatest problems to our entrance into the kingdom is that over engagement with daily living that makes us forget our eternal home. We can become so engaged with the world that we become blind to the passing nature of the world. Instead of seeing it as a temporary refuge, we may mistakenly take it as our permanent home.
This is the danger that the world, that is, that our earthly life poses to each of us. Our Lord today cautioned us about this danger. He told us that on the day the Son of man would come back, people would be engaged doing the normal things of life. Earthly life would so engross many that they would not see the imminence of His coming.
That is why He made it clear to us today that "whoever seeks to gain his, life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it." We are thus sufficiently cautioned to understand that getting ourselves immersed in the affairs of this world is a pernicious distraction to our consideration and constant meditation on eternity.
This is why the word of God in today's first reading admonished us never to see the created things of this world as end in themselves but as means to the real end, that is, the Maker. It warns us that all those ignorant of God are foolish by nature. It makes us understand that the things that exist, the beauty of the created order, the power and working of these things should lead us to the Author of beauty that created them and the Almighty power of the One who created and formed them.
The things we see in this world, the created order, should not arrest our march to the One who is the real object of our desire, the One who the same created order resembles in a very imperfect way. The word calls us never to be carried away by the beauty of the created order, that is nothing but infinite imperfection in comparison to the One who created them.
We have a good guide in St. Elizabeth of Hungary who memorial we celebrate today. She was a woman of noble birth, married into royalty at a young age, but who lived the ideal of simplicity and poverty that was preached by St. Francis of Assisi. She saw the distraction that attachment to the world could cause to noble souls and in spite of her privileged background, dedicated herself to the ideal of our Lord's option to be born and live His earthly life as a poor man. May she intercede for us to have the right focus in life.
Let us pray: "O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity the needy and those afflicted." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.