“Human history is the long, terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” ~ CS Lewis
In our 1st Reading today (Haggai 1:1-8), the prophet Haggai had this to say to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and the godless minions he led:
”Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated (** one of my favorite lines in all of Scripture **), have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; And whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it.”These sage and poignant words of this divinely inspired herald of the Lord would go on to haunt so many in the years to come, perhaps more so today than ever.
Why is it it that we turn to everything and everyone but Jesus in our pursuit of genuine and eternal happiness when He is in fact the sole purveyor of the precise gift we seek? We all know that we must “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). But still....we get lost along the way.
Times like these require honest and thorough introspection, an examination of one’s conscience if you will. Important questions must be asked. Here are but a few.
Is your mind set on this life or the next?
The Christian who is poised to live with Christ in paradise for eternity spends his or her earthly life in a state of, for lack of a better term, “joyful preoccupation” with Jesus in this life, today and everyday. As Saint Paul reminds us “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20). True Catholicism is an exercise not only in love, but delayed gratification (https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Our-Citizenship-Is-In-Heaven). This is in fact our edict if heaven is indeed our desire.
How do you cope with guilt and shame?
We reflected in fairly great length on the topic of guilt yesterday https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/From-Guilt-to-Grace but we must ask ourselves, do we take pride and pleasure in what should be shameful, witnessing Jesus go to the cross for our sin, despising our shame? (Hebrews 12:2)?
And finally, do we live in light of the coming judgment?
Lukewarm and disingenuous Christians live their lives rarely if ever concerned over the consequences of their sin. They live as if they will not be judged, but “their end is destruction.”’(Philippians 3:19). Those who unceasingly strive for eternal life on the other hand know that God’s grace creates an intense longing to be more like him. They acknowledge their sin, swiftly seek forgiveness, and work diligently to become more Christ-like as they wait with joyful hope for the coming of their Savior Jesus Christ, “who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21).
Those destined for heavenly glory and eternal life in the Kingdom reflect upon these questions regularly. With God’s grace they make incremental progress each and every day, vowing to grow in the virtues of wisdom, patience, humility and obedience.
Let us always consider our ways, thoughtfully, honestly, and when necessary, with great remorse and contrition, seeking the grace of God through prayer.
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open to you.” ~ Amen