Thursday, November 01, 2012

Reward Will Be Great

Reward Will Be Great

November 1, 2012
Solemnity of All Saints

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"  I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows."  He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb."  Revelation 7:13-14

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven."  Matthew 5:9-12


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;  That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.  Amen.
  --Reinhold Niebuhr


"Your reward will be great in heaven."  Note that Jesus does not preach that our reward will be great on Earth.  We first have to survive the here and the now -- this "time of great distress."
By the time we reach November 1, the latest great storm of 2012 is over.  We are still feeling the aftershocks of the fires and floods.  However, when I began writing this, we had no idea how many people would be affected -- homes flooded, lives lost, property damaged, businesses interrupted.  We still really do not.  As offices, schools and governments closed (except for emergency workers), we shored up our homes and stayed safe until the storm passed.  The post-storm accounting is still underway. But suffice it to say that this storm was and is New Jersey's Katrina.
Many were not so lucky.  Rising tides combined with the storm surge to devastate.  What that did not destroy, fires leveled.  Some (hopefully) have insurance.  They are in good hands.  Others will know what St. John meant when he wrote of the time of great distress. 
Such distress does not only happen when we face fire, winds, floods, and disease.  It also occurs when we live this time of great distress without the Lord in our lives.  The "saints" that we remember today are people of great courage who faced these times with a firm relationship to the Lord.  They did not face an easier life than we face.  However, they survived because the Lord brought them through.


Many public charities are hard at work helping stem the human toll of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.  The American Red Cross.  The Salvation Army.  Catholic Charities local offices in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and more. 
You can lend a hand with your time and your treasure.  Check how you can help if you have time in the next few weekends to assist with the clean-up efforts.  If you were not affected as directly, you also can support the public charities who are helping to pick up the pieces from this time of great distress.

No comments: