Sunday, November 1, 2009

Face to Face

Today is “All Souls” day and yesterday was “All Saints” Day. It seemed to be a fitting end to October, a month where I attended 8 funerals. What is it about the finality of human life that makes me stop and think about my own life? I haven’t decided if it is the eulogies where someone lists all of the “good” about a person, or if it is the idea that any moment could be your last. I have been to funerals where the list was short and others where the list was long; and whether the list was short or long did not determine saint or sinner, ready to enter heaven or hell.
It does make me think one thought though about my own life: “Who will I be when I come face to face with God and how will I be remembered?”

In one of the daily meditations this week the bible reading was that where Jesus named all the apostles. The only one Luke gave a “label” to was “Judas, who became a traitor.” Luke 6:12-16 It is a little scary to think about what Jesus would label me at this very moment, or even how a writer like Luke would list my weaknesses.

Today’s gospel has always been one of my favorites: from Mt 5:1-12a He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
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.”

I see so much hope in this passage of labels. Hope for those who mourn, hope for those who seek God’s truth, hope for those who have God in their heart. And I see eternal love for the peacemakers and those who are persecuted for standing up for the truths of the church and Jesus’ teachings.

Notice, too, that none of God’s labels are ways we would traditionally label people: we do not see happy, rich, great mom/dad, had many friends, did many good deeds, won many awards or games, was a great doctor, accountant, or teacher (insert your own profession), was a great cook, housekeeper, etc…. Instead we see labels of the heart: poor in spirit, meek, righteous, merciful, peacemakers and clean of heart.

Am I any of those people who will have great reward in heaven and be called a child of God? And am I willing to change my life to become one of those people?

How thankful I am that because of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross so it is never too late to ask for forgiveness, wipe away my human labels, and change my wants into his wants. Am I ready to answer his call, and am I always ready to meet God face to face?

So who do I want to be? What do I really want said at my eulogy? Will I look at the labels for my life differently? Will they be God’s labels instead of human labels? Will I be what I want to be, or what God wants me to be? How will I be labeled when I meet God face to face?

Dear God, make my heart ready to meet you face to face. Amen.

Blessings, Charlotte

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