At the end of this journey called life, we all know that what matters is Life Eternal. How do we attain eternal life? Some of our brothers and sisters say that just proclaim with your lips that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved. Hence, no need to do good works. Others say, that religion is not important. What is important is that we do good.
In the Gospel today, Jesus reminds us of three things:
- Faith and the Church. In fact, Jesus founded a Church when He was on earth. “Peter, I give you the keys and not even the gates of the netherworld will prevail against it.” While faith is personal, we need people to help us in our journey of faith. One cannot be a good athlete on his or her own. One cannot be a good doctor or lawyer on his or her own. One cannot be a good Christian on his or her own.
- Faith is not only in the lips but also in our lives. A young man once approached Jesus with the many laws and regulations of his faith and asked which was most important. What is the point of beautiful images, beautiful Churches, beautiful vestments, beautiful rituals and rites when people we do not reach out to, are those who are in need?
- Faith should make us better people. How many times have we heard people say that they could not go to Mass because they are sinners? Remember, Jesus came for the sinner and not for the saint. We are all works in progress and no one is perfect. Even the saints have their imperfections. What is to be avoided is the hypocrisy, using the Church for personal gain, or no desire to be a better person because of the excuse that he or she was born that way.
Hence, in each Mass, three things we remember:
- It doesn’t take much to have eternal life: a glass of water, a visit to the sick, and small acts of kindness and generosity.
- Never get tired. Do not only think that it will all come back. Although it will surely will, most importantly, do it for Christ.
- Remember that in this world, it is not only about the financially poor. St. Mother Teresa said that there is even a worse kind of impoverishment – the spiritually poor. Someone once said that there are people that are so poor that what they only have is money.