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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

The Goal is Heaven

Second Sunday of Lent

“I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.”Ps. 116

In the transfiguration, Jesus opens a window to heaven for us, to remind us that this earth is not the final destination, but the path to eternal life, to salvation. But curiously, we hardly ever talk about heaven or salvation, despite it being what Jesus talked about the most. We are in a time where people don’t want to hear anything about the afterlife because we are so focused on what we can touch and see, locked in the here and now, as the adage mentioned by Saint Paul says: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

But nothing in this life would make sense if it weren’t for eternal life, as Saint Paul also mentions: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” It is true that in this life we find reward for our faith, because living with faith leads us to be happier, to have hope, meaning to live, to fight and suffer, for the daily cross, it gives us love for everything we do, etc. But this is nothing compared to the greatest achievement of our faith, which is eternal life, without which nothing in this life would make sense, neither the good nor the bad.

The people who journeyed in the desert were moved by a dream, that of the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. That’s what kept them moving forward, and it encouraged them not to settle in the comfort of a stable and peaceful life. We too must live as pilgrims in this world, not anchoring our tents here or putting our hearts here, for we are citizens of heaven, and we journey in this exile towards it.

If we only live locked in the here and now, only for this world, we would be blind an irrational, without a sense, without direction, like sheep without a shepherd, without anything to fight for, without a path ahead, without anything to overcome, without goals or anything to grow in, like being stuck in the mud of this blind world, where the only thing that matters is being physically well, without wanting to think about death, let alone what comes after death. They close the eyes of their minds to not look at that, and just focus on what pleases them today.

We need to open our eyes to reality and truth, especially to these truths that have been revealed to us by God Himself to give meaning to our lives, so that we may have abundant, eternal life. If we turn our backs and don’t want to listen, we are closing ourselves to the great gift of God, to the gift of Life.

It’s like if a millionaire comes to give you millions and you don’t want to open the door, you prefer to stay in your misery. That’s what humanity does in its foolishness and deceit, because without the light of Christ we are in darkness, and we cannot distinguish true values from false ones. LORD, GIVE US YOUR LIGHT, RESTORE OUR SIGHT, OUT OF MERCY.

Weekly Readings

Sunday: Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18/Ps 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19 (116:9)/Rom 8:31b-34/Mk 9:2-10
Monday: Dn 9:4b-10/Ps 79:8, 9, 11 and 13/Lk 6:36-38
Tuesday: Is 1:10, 16-20/Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23/Mt 23:1-12
Wednesday: Jer 18:18-20/Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15-16/Mt 20:17-28
Thursday: Jer 17:5-10/Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6/Lk 16:19-31
Friday: Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a/Ps 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21/Mt 21:33-43, 45-46
Saturday: Mi 7:14-15, 18-20/Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
Next Sunday: Ex 20:1-17 or 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17/Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11 (Jn 6:68c)/1 Cor 1:22-25/In 2:13-25
Scrutiny: Ex 17:3-7/Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (8)/Rom 5:1-2, 5-8/In 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Observances for the Week

Sunday: 2nd Sunday of Lent
Wednesday: St. Gregory of Narek, Abbot and Doctor of the Church
Next Sunday: 3rd Sunday of Lent