Scripture Reading: Luke 16:19-28
Let us continue on the series of the four precious things we must not lose. Today the Lord charges us to keep alive the fear of going to hellfire. The scripture says, Job tells us that life is short. In Job 14:1-2 the scripture says, “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble coming up like a flower and withers, like flitting shadow, they do not endure.” As Job lamented, “My days are swifter than a runner, they flee away, they see no good.” (Job 9:25) Truly at every moment of our lives death runs swiftly towards us and we also run swiftly towards it. Each breath we take is a step towards the last. This sounds scary but that’s the reality of life. No wonder St. Augustine says, “Everything in life, good or bad, is uncertain except death. Only death is certain.” However, St. Bernard consoles man with these words, “Death is precious insofar as it marks the end of the struggle; it is victory attained, it is the gate to eternal life.” But hear this word of God from Ecclesiastes, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened.” (Eccl. 12:1-2)
Beloved in Christ, how distressful and despairing can it be for one to realize at the end of his journey here on earth that he had been walking on the wrong side of the road? The Church teaches. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell’s eternal fire. The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs. The affirmations of sacred scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are calls to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction.
Ezek 2:8-3:4; Ps 119:188.8.131.52.111.131 (R.103a) Accl Mt 11:29ab, Mt 18:1-5.10.12-14 WEEKDAY ST MAXIMILIAN KOLBE, P.M. (MEMORIAL)
MASS: WHITE 1 Chr. 15:3-4.15-16; 16:1-2; Ps 132:6-7.9-10.13-14.(R.v.8); 1 Cor 15:54b-57; Accl Lk 11:28; Gosp Lk 11:27:28 VIGIL OF THE ASSUMPTION OF B.V.M (SOLEMNITY) (Holy Day of Obligation)
- “My Jesus, bind me to Yourself so that I may never more be separated from You. Make me entirely Yours before I die. I wish to love You ardently in this life, that I may love You ardently in the next. If in the past I have not loved You the way I should, now I turn to You with all my heart and soul. Give me, sweet Jesus, holy perseverance and grant me also the grace to ask for it.
Exercise: Reflect on the agonies of hell fire.
Meditation: Revelation 21:8