In today’s compact first reading, St. Paul prays that the Philippians “discern what is of value.” That brought to mind the following meditation:
When the time comes for our final accounting, when we stand before the Lord of Judgment, what will He ask us about our lives? Will He ask, “How many prayers did you say?” “How much money did you give to charity?” “Did you avoid sin?” These questions are important, but they aren’t the ones he will ask. I believe He will ask us something like this:
“Did you delight in my children? Did you give them affection, share in their wonder, bounce them on your knee and make them smile?
Did you care for my teens? Did you listen to them, affirm them and show them they were worth your time? Were you beside them in their searching? Did you believe in them?”
Did you share in the lives of my adults? Did you stand by them in their sadness and celebrate with them in their joys? Did you strengthen them in their failures and help them find peace?
Did you cherish my old folks? Were you patient with their infirmities and open to their views? Did you listen to their memories, help them in their loneliness and enjoy their company?
Did you… Did you love my people?”
This is the way of life that Jesus came into this world to teach us. If others see us, as his disciples, caring so greatly about people, they will have to conclude, “Their God must be a God of love.” If our lives have said that, we’ve said it all.
(Excerpted from the book, The Ten Things You Must Do Before You Die, by Alan Phillip, CP).
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/