ĐỜI SỐNG TÂM LINH - REFLECTION 21SUNDAY-C 8-25-2019 Print

"For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last." (Luke 13:30)

Wisdom of age and life experience have enlightened me that my life is not all about me in doing things I like to do for my selfishness. I believe that God has called me and given me His Holy Spirit to live a meaningful and purposeful life for God himself and His mission for me in this life including those God has sent to me at certain time in my life journey.

Living a purposeful life requires sense of discipline and self-sacrifice. Saint Paul in his letter to Hebrews also mentioned about discipline as a need in spiritual life in order to "brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it although discipline is not a cause for joy but for pain" (Hebrews 12: 11-13).

However, I am a human. I am not a saint or an angel. Thus, I pray to God as Saint Augustine in his "Confession" book that God can change me little by little, not entirely at the same time because I will not endure it.

Thus, God has been mentioned in the Gospel as God of mercy, Who always shows His mercy and compassion toward all human beings, who have been created in God's image YET at the same time prone to fall.

God, becoming human in Jesus, also invites His followers becoming like God in His mercy, "be merciful as your heavenly father is merciful". Becoming like God in His mercy is long life process.

Bishop Fulton Sheen once said "in heaven we will encounter three surprises." First, we will surprise to see those who lived most of their lives on earth in selfish and destructive way of caring for their own interest and pleasure only without fearing of God and caring for others. However, they died in sincere confession and trusting in God's mercy.

Second, we will surprise for not seeing those who lived most of their lives in good deeds in fearing God and following God's teaching. However, they died in their resentment that God has treated them unfairly.

Third, we will surprise that we are in heaven because of God's mercy for us although we seem to fail in our trusting in God's mercy.

May God have mercy on us always and, in return, we can be merciful toward each other. Also may God forgive us and help us in our human failures sometimes to trust in God's mercy and to show mercy for others.

QUANG VU

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