Just after All Saints and All Souls’ Day, Christmas is truly just around the corner. Yes, there will be parties, homecomings, weddings, and baptismal invitations. However for many reasons, we are not able to attend all simply because that traffic is bad, there are so many invitations, time is limited, and yes, health due to COVID-19 is still a concern. We, unfortunately, will have to say no to several invitations.
In talking about invitations, there is one that we get every moment of our lives. Sadly in the Gospel, they were people who often said “No” to the invitation. What is this? The invitation for Eternal Life.
How then, do we say “YES” to this invitation?
- In the Gospel, there were people who said no because they had things to take care of. Indeed, every day of our lives, there are things that we have to take care of. Let us not forget that we came into this world with nothing and we are leaving this world with nothing. Hopefully, we do not become preoccupied with the things that we will leave behind after all.
- Do not take time for granted. Many of us tell ourselves, “I am young and there is still time”, but we often forget that the time of God is different from our own. How many funeral masses have we attended wherein the one who passed away unexpectedly.
- God respects our free will. How can a loving God stand bringing his people to hell? Or, “If God is good, why does hell exist?” This is a reminder that God will do everything and anything for us to have eternal life, but he too respects our decision if we wish to say no to his invitation.
In mass, we pray that we may live our lives in a way that while we are on earth, we are not of the earth. There is life eternal. Saint Philip Neri has a very beautiful principle on Eternal Life. He said, “Live each day as if it were the first day of your life, in that sense, you will be grateful.” He too added, “Live each day as if it were the last day of your life. In that sense, you will realize what is important and essential in life.”