sometimes it is just a marble

Where on your personal bucket list is the Kingdom of Heaven? Can you claim with perfect candor and complete honesty that spending eternity with God in Heaven is even on your list? If not, then why not? We know that the measure of our lives is brief and fleeting, yet we are want to dismiss any thought of what awaits beyond the sunset and the dark of death, now unknowable and thus too disconcerting, too discomfiting to seriously consider.

Pearl or Marble

Pearl or Marble

When life presents with such sweet lemonade why want the bitter lemon? God in his great love and boundless goodness created man and placed him in a garden filled with an abundance of every good thing man could ever want or need. God freely gave him everything except the one thing and asked only for his love and obedience in return. Yet man demanded more, for all he saw was what had been set apart from him and wanted it all the more, not from any absolute necessity but merely out of some perceived desire for its taboo. All that he had and all that he might forever enjoy was now unremarked like too many gifts once opened in anticipation of unwrapping the sole remaining.

There is a familiar similitude between what man once had and lost and what most of us now currently enjoy, a familiar abundance of every good thing we should want or need. And yet we are unsatisfied with all we have, we want more, and we want it now. Our abundance cannot and does not satisfy our hunger and thirst for that which we cannot so readily obtain or purchase. We want what we desire, what is taboo no matter how high the price, even if what is demanded should be the loss of our immortal soul.

And yet, perhaps it is because the price remitted rests beyond our human understanding of its nature that we so readily agree to pay for what we so desire. Give a child a pearl of inestimable value and, unknowing of its incalculable preciousness, the child will treat it as just another pretty marble.

There is another facet to our insatiable desire which begs for us to pause in serious contemplation and reflection and that is this: while we place our considerable focus on that which has been set apart, for which we so ardently desire, the degree of importance and influence of the ephemeral and immaterial are severely and radically diminished. God and his Kingdom decrease in relevance as our material desires increase. The closer we come to finding heaven on earth, the further we find ourselves concerned with matters which we cannot see, taste, touch, feel, or comprehend.

We listen to those voices which entice us with the bounty that lies before us, insistent voices that beseech us to immerse ourselves in all that is available in the here and now for, they so stridently screech, this is all that there is. And we find ourselves incapable of or unwilling to demur or abstain. We are like children given free rein in a candy store; we quickly slam the door on those who would caution restraint. Right judgment and consideration for what may happen tomorrow are tossed aside for the exigencies of such momentary pleasures.

But rest assured, tomorrow will come and it will not be as pleasurable as today.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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