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AUGUST 2001

Word Today, Aug. 1, 2001 (Wed. of the 17th Week)

    Readings: Ex 34:29-35 / Mt 13:44-46

The gospel today compares the kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure or to a pearl of great price.  We can apply this comparison not only to the faith which we received but also to another gift that a person can receive -- the calling from God.

We should see a divine calling, such as a vocation to the priesthood or some other form recognized in the Church, as something of value.  It a great gift of God.  It is like winning in the lottery.  If you win, you protect your winning stub.  So with the calling.  We should protect it.  We should not rashly expose it to being lost or destroyed.  Those who receive a calling from God should strive to be faithful to all the requirements of their state in life.

Word Today, Aug. 2, 2001 (Thursday of the 17th Week)

    Readings: Ex 40:16-21, 34-38/ Mt 13:47-53

The parable in today's gospel compares the kingdom of heaven to the work of fishermen who gather in the fish and then sort out the bad ones from the good ones.  "That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth."

The children of Fatima, who were beatified by the Pope, received a vision of hell.  The Virgin Mary told them that they had to pray and offer sacrifices for the salvation of poor sinners.  This led them to become zealous in their prayers and sacrifices.  The task of the Church is the salvation of souls.  All those who work in the Church should never lose sight of this ultimate goal.  Like those children, they should be zealous in their work to save people from the punishments of hell.

Word Today, Aug. 3, 2001 (Friday of the 17th Week)

    Readings: Lv 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37 / Mt 13:54-58

When Jesus began his public life, many of his relatives and neighbors in Nazareth thought that he had gone mad.  And in his first visit to Nazareth, as we read in today's gospel, his "kababayans" refused to recognize any supernatural or special content in his message.  As time went by, Christ continued to meet with opposition, yet he continued steadfastly in his salvific mission.

Christ requires the same firmness and tenacity from his followers.  We should realize that  our behavior as Christians will often clash with the behavior of people who oppose Christian moral demands or who are satisfied with a half-hearted discipleship.  Then we should act according to the model of the Master.  Let us not give in to so-called "human respects".  Let us be consistent with our faith.

Word Today, Aug. 4, 2001 (Saturday of the 17th Week, Saint John Mary Vianney)

    Readings: Lv 25:1, 8-17 / Mt 14:1-12)

Today we remember St. John Mary Vianney, the parish priest of Ars in France.  He lived in the 19th century and is the patron saint of all parish priests.  John Vianney's greatness lay not in his learning or in his administrative abilities, but in his holiness and his dedication to the care of people.  He spent long hours hearing confessions.  He also devoted the best of his energies to preaching and to teaching catechism. God used this holy priest to work many wonderful conversions.  He left a trail of holiness that lingers to the present.

This is a good day to pray for all priests.  May they have the holiness of life of the curate of Ars.  May St. John Vianney intercede for the thousands of priests who silently serve the people, listening to their problems, giving them the forgiveness of God and feeding them with Christ's teachings.

Word Today, Aug. 5, 2001 (Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

    Readings: Eccl 1:2; 2:21-23 / Col 3:1-5, 9-11 / Lk 12:13-21 (114)

The first part of today's gospel reading talks about the attempt of someone to use Jesus to settle a dispute about inheritance.  "Master, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."  But Jesus refused, telling him "Man, who has appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you?" (Lk 12:13-15)  The gospel shows the deliberate will of Jesus not to get entangled in certain earthly affairs that could dilute his message of salvation and occasion misunderstanding about the nature of the "Kingdom of Heaven" that he had come to establish. 

There is a tendency to reduce the Kingdom of Heaven to merely material or political terms. Yet when Jesus Christ was confronted by Pontius Pilate about the nature of his Kingdom, he clearly stated that "My kingdom is not of this world." (Jn 18:36)  And on another occasion, Jesus Christ stated very directly: "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Lk 17:21) The Christian has to be "salt and light" (See Mt 5:13-14) for the world...but he cannot lose his taste or his own light. The Kingdom of Heaven has a bearing in the affairs of the world, but it cannot lose its own transcendental dimension. In other words, the interior life of personal union and dealing with God is precisely what the Christian needs in order to be an effective "seasoning" for  the world.

Word Today,  Aug. 6, 2001 (The Transfiguration of the Lord)

    Readings: Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 / 2 Pt 1:16-19 / Lk 9:28b-36 (614)

Today we celebrate Christ's Transfiguration.  Before the Passion, Christ showed himself to the three selected apostles in all his glory.  So impressed were they that St. Peter just wanted to remain there.  But that was not the plan of Jesus.

Jesus gave them this kind of  "break" at Mt. Tabor, perhaps in order to strengthen them for the trial of faith that they would have to face at Mt. Calvary.  God gives us good times, times of consolation and light.  Let us not be surprised if God also sends us bad times, times of aridity and deepening shadows.  It is all part of God's plan.  All of it, if we are faithful, will lead to the joy of the Resurrection.

Word Today, Aug 7, 2001 (Tuesday of the 18th Week),

    Readings: Nm 12:1-13 / Mt 14:22-36

The Pharisees berated the disciples of Jesus for not following the "tradition of the elders."  Christ countered by telling them, "Why do you break God's command for the sake of your traditions?"  This passage has sometimes been used by fundamentalists to oppose some beliefs of the Church which are not explicitly found in the Scripture, but which hark from apostolic times.

When we speak of Tradition in the context of revelation in the Church, we do not mean "human traditions".  We refer to "sacred" tradition, which is ultimately from Christ and can be attributed to the authority of the apostles to whom Christ gave the charge of establishing the different Churches.  Sacred tradition is so important that, in some way, the very Scriptures themselves depend on it.  We would never know which books of the Bible are inspired, or authentically the Word of God, if not for Tradition.  The Bible itself, in Jn 20:30 says that there are many more things that are not written in the Bible.  How else would we know those things, if not from being handed down?

Word Today, Aug. 8, 2001 (Wed. of the 18th Week), St. Dominic

    Readings: Nm 13:1-2, 25--14:1, 26-29, 34-35/ Mt 15:21-28

Today is the feast of St. Dominic of Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, more commonly called the Dominicans.  St. Dominic saw the need to counteract the Albigensian heresy with sound doctrine coupled to a genuine life of sacrifice.  He required his members to be "mendicants", living off the charity of others; and also to be very knowledgeable in their faith.  The Dominican Order boasts of very eminent Christian thinkers, of whom the foremost is St. Thomas Aquinas.  St. Dominic also fostered the devotion to the Holy Rosary.

Because their mission is to preach the Word of God, the Dominicans are especially devoted to study.  Prayerful study of our faith is a pre-requisite to communicating it.  St. Thomas Aquinas defined the apostolate as "passing on to others what one has contemplated."  While contemplation is a gift of God, it also requires our effort to read and ponder prayerfully on God's word.

Word Today, Aug. 9, 2001 (Thursday of the 18th Week)

    Readings: Nm 20:1-13/ Mt 16:13-23

After Peter confessed that Jesus was the son of living God, Jesus told him, "It was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven."  This shows that faith is a gift from God.  We do not deserve it, we cannot earn it.  Peter's faith would be the foundation of the faith of the rest of the Church.

The gospel today reminds us of the heavy burden on the shoulders of the Pope, Peter's successor.  He has to strengthen all of us in our faith.  Let us thank God for the wonderful manner that our Holy Father is carrying out this mission.

Word Today, Aug. 10, 2001 (St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr)

    Readings: 2 Cor 9:6-10 / Jn 12:24-26

St. Lawrence was a deacon of the early Church of Rome.  He was martyred by being burned on a grid-iron. As he was slowly being "cooked", he called his executioner and told him, humorously, "Turn me now and eat,"  referring to what  we do when frying food.

It is not a matter of being frivolous in something as serious as martyrdom.  But a truly Christian spirit never loses cheerfulness.  And one of the manifestations of cheerfulness is a good sense of humor.  True virtue is happy and attractive.

Word Today, Aug. 11, 2001 (Saturday of the 18th Week, Saint Claire)

    Readings: Dt 6:4-13 / Mt 17:14-20

Today is the memorial of St. Clare.  She founded the sister congregation of the Franciscans.  For the Philippines, the name of St. Clare is associated with the very first convent for women in the Far East, the monastery of Sta. Clara.  It has continued to be a focus of devotion in the Philippines as it has moved its location from the old Manila (Intramuros), to a site in the Philippine capital of Quezon City.  Its foundress, Mother Geronima de la Asuncion, was a contemporary of St. Therese of Jesus.  Like most foundations, her work met a lot of opposition in the new colony.

Monastic foundations are an important part of the life of the Church.  They provide a powerhouse of prayer through the persons living there and through the faithful who go there to pray and to ask for prayers.  They may seem to be enclosed, but their influence reaches far beyond the walls of their enclosure.  Let us pray for more vocations to the monastic and contemplative life.

Word Today, Aug. 12, 2001 (Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

    Readings: Wis 18:6-9/ Heb 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11:1-2, 8-12/ Lk 12:32-48 or 12:35-40

"You must be ready, because at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming." (Lk 12:40)

When people are really interested in succeeding in a task, they prepare well for it.  A surgeon at the operating table has prepared himself long before the actual operation.  And as he operates, he is ready for any emergency.  After all, a human life is at stake.

In the gospel of today, Christ tells us to be always ready; but what is at stake is something much more important and valuable than our human life.  What is at stake is our eternal salvation and happiness.

How can one be prepared in this matter?  At the moment of death, the state of our soul will remain basically what it is for the rest of eternity.  If we are in the state of grace, that is to say, we are in the friendship of God and we have renounced sin, which separates us from God, then we are ready to face the eternal judgement of God.  But if we are in the state of sin, which separates us from God, if we have not been reconciled to God by the sincere contrition and confession of our sins, then we have much to dread at the moment of death. 

Word Today,  Aug. 13, 2001 (Monday of the 19th Week)

    Readings: Dt 10:12-22 / Mt 17:22-27

The incident narrated in today's gospel is unique to St. Matthew, perhaps because it involved the collection of taxes, which was Matthew's former trade before being called to the apostolate.  Although Christ, as the son of God, was not subject to any human authority, he nevertheless wanted to give us a lesson of order and propriety.  Hence he ordered Peter to pay the required taxes, making use of a small miracle to produce the amount needed.

We learn from here that if we want to imitate Christ, we must strive to be good citizens who fulfill all their duties and exercise their rights.  Christians should have a sense of civic involvement.  It does not mean that we have to be "political"  in the partisan sense.  It means that we have to face up to our secular condition and not be inattentive to the needs of the "city of man."

Word Today, Aug 14, 2001 (Tuesday of the 19th Week, St. Maximilian Kolbe),

    Readings: Dt 31:1-8/ Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan who founded an apostolic group called the Militia of the Immaculata. During the second world war, he was imprisoned in Auschwitz prison where he died as a martyr by offering his life in place of another prisoner. 

Many early martyrs died professing their faith against idolatry. But one can also profess the faith by standing up for other aspects of the faith. Here, we can perhaps consider St. Maximilian as a martyr for charity -- like Christ, he was willing to lay down his own life for love of neighbor. For most of us, love for neighbor must be manifested in living for others. This means to be at the service of the good of our fellow men. This can be done just by doing our daily duties, but with the intention of serving others for love of God and neighbor. 

Word Today, Aug. 15, 2001 (Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

    Readings: Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/ 1 Cor 15:20-27/ Lk 1:39-56 

The Assumption of Mary marks the end of her earthly life. When the time set by God for her stay on earth had passed, God took up Mary to heaven in body and soul. There are two traditions about this -- some say this took place at Ephesus, where she was living with the apostle St. John; others say this took place in Jerusalem where most of the other apostles were. Whatever the case, she is now in heaven without experiencing the common lot of men -- that of remaining in the grave until the end of the world. 

Mary is in heaven with her body NOW. And in heaven, we know that she intercedes for us in a special way. Having recourse to the intercession of Mary does not detract from the worship and honor of Jesus Christ. It was Christ himself who set up Mary as our mother. He expects us to treat her as such. And what child does not ask help from his mother? Any honor we give to Mary redounds to Christ; for what child will begrudge any honor given to his mother? 

Word Today, Aug. 16, 2001 (Thursday of the 19th Week)

    Readings: Jos 3:7-10a, 11, 13-17/ Mt 18:21--19:1

One of the things which is easier said than done is to "forgive and forget." To do so is a clear demand of Christian morality, but when we look at ourselves, we must often admit that we tend to bear grudges against those who may have hurt us or harmed those whom we love. Hence today's gospel, which shows the contrast between the magnanimity of the king and the narrow-mindedness of his servant, is a great help. 

When we find it hard to forgive someone, let us remember that whatever harm someone may have caused us, that is nothing in comparison with the offense that we have committed against God our Father. Yet God forgave us, to the extreme point of dying on the cross for our sins. So when we find it hard to forgive, let us not think of the offense against us. Let us think of our offense against God and not exaggerate the harm inflicted on us. 

Word Today, Aug. 17, 2001 (Friday of the 19th Week)

    Readings: Jos 24:1-13/ Mt 19:3-12  

In today's gospel reading, we see how Christ restored the integrity of marriage by declaring that divorce is against the plan of God. "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder." 

Many countries, ignoring the word of Christ, allow divorce for various reasons. In our own country, there are some people who want to remove the indissolubility of the marriage bond alleging that it is needed for the good of society. There are many reliable studies that show the many evils that come from divorce and remarriage. If we want to strengthen the family, we should not allow divorce. Problems of married couples have better solutions. If divorce is possible, then people may no longer try to solve their difficulties and instead seek to run away, to the detriment of many people, especially of their children. 

Word Today, Aug. 18, 2001 (Saturday of the 19th Week)

    Readings: Jos 24:14-29/ Mt 19:13-15  

"Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." With these words, Jesus recommends to us the life of "spiritual childhood."  

This does not mean to be childish in our dealings with people. It means that we must be childlike in our relationship with God. We must treat God as our most beloved father. We must have complete trust and abandonment in God's love for us. At the same time, we should not have pretensions about ourselves or our accomplishments. We can only truly address God as a father if we have a deep conviction that we are very 'small" before Him. 

Word Today, Aug. 19, 2001 (Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

    Readings: Jer 38:4-6, 8-10/ Heb 12:1-4/ Lk 12:49-53  

"I have come to cast fire on earth, and what more could I want than that it be enkindled?" (Lk 12:49) These are mysterious words of Christ. And perhaps the verses that follow are even more mysterious. The Peacemaker, the Christ gentle and humble of heart, predicts that because of his message, there will be some kind of division--father against son, son against father, and so forth. (cf. Lk 12:52-53) 

This fire that Christ is talking about refers to the Christian life. And we know that the Christian life is ultimately based on love of God. But it is not the sugar-candy type of sentimental love; it is a strong and solid love, which is symbolized by fire. Fire is a dynamic and energetic force that necessarily affects whatever it touches and all of its surroundings. If fire does not ignite and burn the things around it, it at least succeeds in raising the temperature. This enigmatic phrase of Our Lord can have some practical applications for our daily living. 

But have you ever observed the charred remains of what was once a blazing bonfire? There is no more dynamism, no more energy, in the charcoal and ashes of a fire that has died down. If it retains any warmth at all, we know that it will soon be dissipated and engulfed by the surrounding atmosphere. Let us strive to keep our love for God always burning. 

Word Today, Aug. 20, 2001 (Monday of the 20th Week)

    Readings: Jgs 2:11-19/ Mt 19:16-22  

Today's gospel is about the rich young man who was called by Christ, but who could not get himself to follow Christ because of his attachments to his riches. The gospel concludes that the man "Went away sad."  

Many of us think that riches will make us happy. Yet very often it becomes a source of anxiety and even of strife. Even if we have a peaceful possession of our belongings, they do not truly satisfy the deep yearnings of the human heart where happiness calls. The book of Proverbs 25, 20 says that "As moth to the cloth and termite to the wood, so sadness harms the heart of man." Hence the advice of St. James in his letter is the appropriate remedy. "Is anyone sad? Let him pray." 

Word Today, Aug 21, 2001 (Tuesday of the 20th Week, St. Pius X),

    Readings: Jgs 6:11-24a/ Mt 19:23-30  

St. Pius X reigned as Pope at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. He died in 1914 just as the first World War was breaking out. The ecclesial significance of Pius X can be gleaned from the fact that he is the only Pope, since Pius V who lived in the Sixteenth Century, to be canonized. In the Opening Prayer, the Church summarizes the salient characteristics for which he is known. He "defended the Catholic faith" and "made all things new in Christ." This was his motto, the same motto that our own Second Plenary Council of the Philippines adapted: instaurare omnia in Christo.  

As ordinary Christians, we all have our role to play in these two activities of defending the faith and renewing all things in Christ. In your place of work, in your field of expertise, you have to carry out the "apology" of the faith. By being aware of your apostolic responsibility to those around you in the activity in which you are engaged, you will bring Christ to all these activities. 

Word Today, Aug. 22, 2001 (Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

    Readings: Jgs 9:6-15/ Mt 20:1-16a  

Today is the feast of the Queenship of Mary. This feast very appropriately comes just a week after we have celebrated Mary's Assumption into heaven. We can imagine how the Blessed Virgin Mary must have been received in heaven! In the Litany after the rosary, she is called "Queen of Angels" and "Queen of All Saints." 

Mary is rightfully called "queen" because Jesus, her son, is "king." As the queen of the kingdom of heaven, she holds a place of special honor. She also has great power before God. Mary's Queenship is another motive for us to have recourse to the intercession of Mary.  

Word Today, Aug. 23, 2001 (Thursday of the 20th Week)

    Readings: Jgs 11:29-39a/ Mt 22:1-14  

The kingdom of heaven is compared to a wedding feast or banquet. We can also apply this imagery of a banquet to the "banquet of eternal life", which is the Eucharist. In the Eucharistic celebration, we are invited to partake of the banquet of the body and blood of the Lord. Hence we can also apply the later part of the comparison -- we must prepare ourselves to receive the Lord. The man without the wedding garment was sent out, "into the blackness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth." 

St. Paul said that before we partake of the body of the Lord, we should examine ourselves. The Church has said that if we are conscious of mortal sin which has not yet been confessed, we should first go to confession before receiving communion. Being reconciled with God and the Church is our way of putting on the appropriate wedding garment. 

Word Today, Aug. 24, 2001 (Saint Bartholomew, apostle)

    Readings: Rv 21:9b-14/ Jn 1:45-51 

Tradition has identified the apostle Bartholomew with the friend of Philip who is called Nathaniel in the gospel of John. He received one of the most beautiful compliments that any man could receive from the Son of God. "Behold, a true Israelite in whom there is no guile." Christ, who could read the hearts of men, saw the honesty and integrity of Bartholomew. 

To be truly honest, we should imitate Bartholomew in his readiness to express what is truly in his mind. He frankly expressed his doubt "if anything good can come out of Nazareth." This was not out of pride, but out of a willingness to speak his mind. Because of his uprightness, he was ready to change his initial mistaken impression and subsequently receive the gift of faith. When people are honest in seeking the truth, they will gradually be led to the faith.  

Word Today, Aug. 25, 2001 (Saturday of the 20th Week)

    Readings: Ru 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17/ Mt 23:1-12  

The pharisees were guilty of hypocrisy. Their particular brand of hypocrisy consisted of teaching the right things but not practicing what they taught. Thus Jesus told his followers that they should follow their teaching but not their example. 

What is the root of such behavior? Why would someone teach something good but not practice it himself? If one struggled to do good but failed due to weakness, that is understandable. We are , after all, "vessels of clay" holding a precious ointment. But if one did not even try, yet "preached" good things, then he would just be "using" the good teaching for his personal aggrandizement. So at the root of hypocrisy is the vice of pride.  

Word Today, Aug. 26, 2001 (Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time)

    Readings: Is 66:18-21/ Heb 12:5-7, 11-13/ Lk 13:22-30  

"Lord, are only a few to be saved?" (Lk 13:23) It is a very interesting question that Jesus Christ did not answer. Instead, he urged his listeners to strive to "enter by the narrow gate," and he pointed out that some, who took their salvation for granted, would not be saved, because they were "workers of iniquity." (Lk 13:27) What Jesus is telling us is that we should not take salvation for granted--it is an important matter, and it is no easy one. "Enter the narrow gate." In another passage, he elaborates, "For wide is the way that leads to destruction."  

The Christian life has often been compared to a journey. When we are going to a certain destination, obviously the right road is fewer than the wrong ones. To live a Christian life, and therefore achieve our eternal salvation, we need to follow the road set out for us by the fulfillment of our ordinary Christian duties. At the same time, there is no denying that along the way, we may be tempted by many other things, and then be deviated from our path. Let us therefore be concerned for our eternal salvation. And let us work for this salvation by accepting Christ into our lives and transforming our lives by acting and working according to Christ's teachings.   

Word Today, Aug. 27, 2001 (Monday of the 21st Week, St. Monica)

    Readings: 1 Thes 1:1-5, 8b-10/ Mt 23:13-22  

St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustin. We know about her life because of the autobiography of the great doctor of the Church entitled "Confessions." St. Monica shed many tears, praying to God for the conversion of her son whom she had tried to bring up as a good Christian, but who was instead drawn by the wiles of the world and of the flesh. Yet she never stopped. Her perseverance was rewarded by the miraculous conversion of Augustin who later on became one of the greatest saints of the Church. 

Nowadays there are also many mothers who are suffering because the children they love and have raised without sparing any effort, are going astray. The environment of materialism and sensuality, coupled with organized efforts to corrupt the youth through drugs and pornography, is leading many young people to destruction. Mothers should not give up their efforts. They should pray earnestly to God and also do whatever they can for the conversion of their wayward children. 

Word Today, Aug 28, 2001 (Saint Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church)

    Readings: 1 Thes 2:1-8/ Mt 23:23-26 

Today is the memorial of St. Augustine, one of the greatest figures in the history of the Church and of mankind. Augustine is an example of a man of great human qualities who was searching for God. To him we owe the phrase, found in his autobiography, that says "Lord, you made us for yourself, and our hearts will be restless until they rest in you." 

Man is a God-seeker. He searches for happiness. But if he looks for happiness in pleasures, riches or even in noble things of this earth, he will be frustrated. That is one of the lessons of Augustine's life. Let us learn from him to seek God inside our hearts. 

Word Today, Aug. 29, 2001 (The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist) 

    Readings: 1 Thes 2:9-13 / Mk 6:17-29 

St. John the Baptist died through the intrigue of Herodias and the excess of "human respect" of Herod. Although Herod did not want to kill John the Baptist, he found himself in an embarrassing position because of his rash vow to Herodias' daughter. 

We ought to keep our promises. But if the promise refers to something wrong or unjust, then we have no obligation to keep that promise. That "promise", in fact, loses all its binding force because of its immorality. In the case of Herod, he was not really thinking about right and wrong. He was only concerned for his reputation among his guests. 

Word Today, Aug. 30, 2001 (Thursday of the 21st Week)

    Readings: 1 Thes 3:7-13/ Mt 24:42-51  

The gospel reading speaks to us of the need to be watchful, to be on guard and vigilant. St. Paul compared this watchfulness to the way a soldier has to be ready for battle. "Let us put on faith and love for a breastplate, the hope of salvation for a helmet." (I Thes 5, 8) 

In a camp of soldiers in a war situation, they may take turns being on the lookout at the sentry post. In that situation, they are more responsible for the safety of the others. They make a special effort to be alert. We too can set aside some special moments to be more watchful over others. We should be alert, not only for ourselves, but also for the good of the others. If the enemy comes and we did not warn the others, we will also be partly responsible for their failure. On that day we can pray more for others, be more at their service, be more concerned for their well-being. 

Word Today, Aug. 31, 2001 (Friday of the 21st Week)

    Readings: 1 Thes 4:1-8/ Mt 25:1-13

The parable of the wise and the foolish virgins bears an important lesson for all of us. At the end of the parable, the foolish virgins who were not prepared for the coming of the newlyweds, were left outside of the feast. 

The way that we use our time, our sense of responsibility for our duties, has a great bearing on our eternal salvation. The Christian life is not just a matter of "not doing bad things". We cannot enter the kingdom of heaven just by avoiding evil. We have a positive obligation to do good. That is why a person who wastes his time in idleness runs a very great risk of missing the boat.  

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