November 17, 2017 – Friday in the 32nd Week of the Church Year


Saint for the day:

Elizabeth of Hungary (1207 – November 17, 1231)


Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy

Wisdom 13:1-9 – Psalm 19 – Luke 17:26 – 37

“Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the way of the Lord. Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart.” (today’s Responsorial Psalm)

 At first glance, today’s Scripture readings appear kind of grim. Very few people enjoy talking about death or their last days. Yet of all the realities of our world death will touch all of our lives for sure. One way or another! Along these lines I like to focus on the words from our funeral liturgies where we hear, “for believers, life is changed, not ended. … For then we shall see Him as He really is.”

 I don’t know which saint is credited with saying, when asked what he would do if he knew that on such and such a day he would be “called home,” said, “Nothing different from what I’m doing right now!”

That’s an important answer. We all know that our life here on earth will one day come to an end yet none of us takes the attitude of why bother doing anything in the meantime. We have been given the gift of life from God. We have been blessed with various talents and abilities. We are on our way to our true home, heaven, and we make the best of what we have in the time we are given to live.

When today’s Gospel says things like “one will be taken and one will be left” or “two people will be in one bed: one will be taken and the other left” we should be reminded that our face-to-face encounter with God in His Glory most likely will come at a time when we least expect it! When I was in a small airplane crash in 1970 I probably should have died but I didn’t. When I fell on the escalator in the airport on my way to Peru I could have died. But I didn’t. Why? Probably because the Lord is finished with me yet. He’s still got more work to do on me! All of us can look at different events in our lives with the same questions.

Bottom Line? Live your life as if this were the last day you will have. When Brother Robert Lavine died quite suddenly I was asked to straighten up his room. When I went in I found his bed made with a rosary and crucifix on the pillow. On his desk was a paper that said, “these are to people to notify in the event of my death!” There was also a bag with a bottle of Jim Beam Whiskey and a note that said, to be taken to McKenzie Bridge for Brother Daniel’s party! What a way to die! Amen!

(This “reflection” was one of my favorites and I’m happy to give it another run for the benefit of all my readers.)

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