Our pilgrim mission on earth is a daily summons to share our ‘salt for the earth’ (Mt 5:13) as we endeavor to grow in Jesus’ image. This is a reminder of our stewardship in this world that is shown in sharing one’s gifts and talents for the common good. Jesus showed esteem for the dishonest steward in a parable (Lk 16:1-8) for he had devised a shrewd plan to prepare for his future. His zealous, enterprising ways and not his dishonesty were praised by his master. Jesus wants us Christians to view our eternal future with the same shrewdness and embark on ways that will lead to the acquisition of eternal values over worldly gain and profit. Seemingly, so much effort is put into earthly gain and achievement such that the Life Beyond is forfeited.
Events, favorable or not, may have led us to drift far from our chosen apostolic direction, as when we get caught up in the things of this world. Each day confronts us with conflicts and challenges that can make or un-make us as channels of Godly life. In the face of conflict, contradiction and danger, do we resort to the arms of peace, dialogue and forgiveness or vengefully seek weapons of violence, crime and lawless death? The destruction of lives and property in Marawi has reopened lessons of history that must be viewed from a truly human and Christian perspective that appeals for respect for life, property and freedom.
Our concerted healing prayers in response to the appeal from our bishops is part of our preparation that gazes beyond time, to remind us that we are on a journey on earth to our true home where the Lamb of God keeps watch and blesses all his peacemakers with fullness of heavenly glory. “God made everything fitting in its time, but he also set eternity in their hearts…I know that everything God does remains forever; what has happened comes again; what is now has already been; God recovers what has gone” (Eccles 3:10, 14, 15). The blessings of life here and hereafter are God’s gifts to his children and “useless servants” (Lk 17:10) given to us out of his great mercy, and this fills our hearts with hope in eternal life.