Jesus' parable today makes us ask some difficult questions. Are you ready to die? If you life ended today, would you be ready to see Jesus? Do you live every day of your life with this end in mind? We always have this notion that we have more time, we might not.
Are you ready to die?
Alphonsus De Liguroi wrote a whole book called the Preparation for death. I remember being shocked by this book. Here is a quote: "Consider that you are dust, and that you shall return to dust. A day will come when you shall die, and rot in a grave, where worms shall be your covering…" Shocking indeed. So many things seem quite unimportant in light of our impending death. Sounds a bit like our first reading: all things are vanity.
For example, I like to golf: vanity. God's not going to ask me my handicap.
I like to cook, vanity: My bacon artichoke dip will not get me into heaven.
I like football, vanity: even if Coach Kelly leads us to 10 national championships, it is not going to lead me closer to God.
Please don't misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with these things. We are allowed to have hobbies and interests, but we have to remember that they don't necessarily bring us closer to God, even good things can take us away from God if they distract us too much.
We need to put Paul's words into action. If you have been raised with Christ then seek what is above. If Christ is important to you, he has to be a part of you day, a part of your lives. Your calendar never lies, the things that are important to you can be found on that calendar. How do you spend your time? How do you spend your energy? Some days I spend 4 hours golfing, do I ever spend 4 hours talking to God? I really get excited about football, but do I ever get excited about God? Insert your own hobbies, interests, and those things you spend time on and you see the point. The same is true of possessions. In the gospel, Jesus is not saying that we are not allowed to have things. He doesn't even say that the man shouldn't build bigger barns. What Jesus says is that this man did not care for the things of God. Possessions and money are not bad things, but they can distract us and take us away from our relationship to God. Even good things can lead us astray.
We overcome this possibility by seeking the things that are above: spending time with Jesus, reading about Jesus, watching movies about Jesus, coming to Mass, going to confession, etc. We need to seek holiness, seek God, leave behind our sins, because this is the pathway to eternal life. There is no getting around it; we are all going to die. There is only one name in which we can be saved: Jesus Christ. We need to set our eyes on Christ.
In a few moments we will receive the Holy Eucharist, we will see Jesus. We can ask him to help us to seek the things that are above. We need to live with our end in mind. We know that even good things can distract us from our relationship with God, which should be the most important thing in our lives. Without our relationship with God there is no salvation, no eternal life. Only with firm faith will we be able to answer the questions that will face us all:
Are you ready to die? Are you ready to meet the Lord?