Why don’t we just give in to worldly riches and pleasures?

by Shiu Lan
Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 13:14, 43-52

Revelation 7:9, 14B-17

John 10:27-30

Salvation and eternal life are for those who would “continue in the grace of God.” (First reading, Acts 13:43) The good news is that salvation has no bounds. It is to be brought “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47). But for those of us who believe and are continuing in the grace of God, will our earthly journey be easy and smooth? Not necessarily so. As we can see from the example of Paul and Barnabas, they were abused, contradicted, (Acts 13:45) driven away and persecuted (Acts 13:50) while evangelizing and doing God’s work.

We strive to be good people, but there is no guarantee that bad things will not happen to good people. Then why must we make attaining eternal life our mission and goal in our earthly journey? Why don’t we just give in to worldly riches and pleasures, instead of living out the teachings of Jesus which is not easy and may even result in us being ridiculed or ignored to say the least? Because of Jesus’ promise of eternal life to us, (Gospel Reading Jn 10:28) we must continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43). If we are willing to see beyond the world that we live in and follow Jesus, listen to his words, we will have eternal life. We will “hunger no more, and thirst no more;” and “he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Second Reading Rev 7:16-17) If more people will live out the teachings of Jesus, our world will become a better place for everyone too.

In the chaos of the present day when morals and ethics are challenged and even life itself is given a meaning contrary to our Catholic faith, let us not be disheartened or discouraged even when our effort to live out the Gospel fails to bear fruit. We must find courage and strength in Jesus’ promise of eternal life. We must carry on with hope, “… the sorrows of our daily lives may never dim our hope of life beyond death.” (“The Way of the Cross with Pope Francis” CNEWA Canada 2015) This message of hope is especially meaningful in the Easter season, which is a season of hope. For our Lord who is risen has brought us salvation!