Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Saint James writes, in today’s first reading:

You have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.

You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.

So often, it takes a life-threatening illness, a terminal diagnosis, or a rock-bottom moment for us to realize how precious our fragile, limited lives really are.

As Christians, and in a mysterious way, we believe that all is gift: every heartbeat; every breath; every talent and ability we have as well as every lack of talent and disability; every relationship, mended, broken, or in near perfect health.

While we can reasonably predict what tomorrow might bring, we can never really be certain.  Aware that end for which we were created is to praise, reverence, and serve God, and ultimately to be one with Him for ever, let us consider the three-fold question that Saint Ignatius proposes to the one who is on the long retreat:

What have I done for Christ?

What am I doing for Christ?

What shall I do for Christ?

There’s an older prayer in many sacristies throughout the world, addressed to the one who will preside at the Eucharist.  It reads:

O Priest of Jesus Christ, celebrate this Holy Mass as if it were your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass.

Perhaps the prayer could be amended to read this, and could be placed on the vanity in the bathroom:

O baptized disciple of the Lord Jesus, live this day as if it were your first, your last, and your only day to witness joyfully, in deed and in word, to the Good News of salvation in Christ.

February 26th, 2014