Enjoy now, pay latter? by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

26th Sunday Ordinary Time

The story is told about a passenger who said to the flight attendant: “I know this is the economy section, but showing the copilot’s home movies is carrying it a bit too far.”

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 16, 19-31), Jesus tells us the story of a rich man who had all the comforts, and a poor man, named Lazarus, who had all the torments in this life. It is a reality that some travel first class or business class, and some travel economy class through life. As it were, others just enjoy, while others endure life.

The good news is that there is a chance for an upgrade, and a change in seating arrangements in eternity! Those who are comfortable now will be tormented then; those who are tormented now will be comfortable then. Divine justice, though slow, catches up, sooner or later.

Being rich, per se, is not bad. But being filthy rich, dirty rich, greedy rich, proud rich, oppressive rich and Godless rich is. For those who have much in life, ask these two questions: How did I acquire, and how am I using or sharing what I have?

The rich man in our story did not do bad things, but he did not do good things, either. Remember, we will be judged by the bad things we have done, and likewise, by the good things we could have done, but did not do.

Enjoy now, pay later, or endure now, and be paid later. Which lifestyle are you living? Which philosophy of life do you adhere to? On a deeper level, is your life all about the here and now in this world, or do you believe that there is a hereafter? Do you believe that you have a body AND a soul?

A timely reminder from Psalm 62: “Do not put your trust in oppression nor vain hopes on plunder; do not set your heart on riches even when they increase; for God said only one thing, only two do I know—that to God alone belongs power, and to you, Lord, love, and that you repay each man according to his deeds.”

If we look at the lives of the saints, none of them lived comfortable lives. In fact, many of them gave up their comfort, career and fame, and followed Christ, their Master. Many of them, too, were misunderstood, maligned, persecuted and even martyred. The saints remind us that what matters most in the end is that we obeyed and loved our Master and did His will.

“Itepel mo labat, anako (Just endure, my child).” “Anosan mo labat, anako (Just be patient, my child).” Heartwarming words we often heard from Papa and Mama, teaching us to be strong, especially in difficult and trying times. And they always ended up with the words: “Mandasal ka labat, anako (Just pray, my child).” We did not have much, but our parents gave us much love, worthy values, and they gave us God.

It’s October once more. Inviting you to our Walk with God to Manaoag this Oct. 5, Saturday, starting at 5 a.m. in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, ending with a Misa de Gracia at the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag at 9 a.m. One with you in gratitude, and prayerful intercession for our country and our people.

Think about this: “You are always opening your Facebook and your inbox to see if there are messages, but you are not opening your Bible which has a lot of messages, especially for you.”

A moment with the Lord:

Remind us, oh Lord, that it is okay to endure now for a while, and be paid later, rather than enjoy now and suffer later, forever. Amen.

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