Posted on Aug 27, 2020

30 August 2020

After I had been at Newman for about 20 years my mother called one morning. 

As most of you know I grew up in Hatley.

My parents lived right across the street from the parish complex—

School, convent, rectory, church, cemetery.

So my mother calls and says:  “Oh, you’re still there.”

“Yesssss,” I said.  “And why wouldn’t I still be here?”

“Well,” she said, “I heard from someone that you’d been moved.”

“Really?”  I said.  “And just when did you hear that?”

“Oh, about a week ago?” she said.

And just who did you hear that from?”

“Oh, I don’t remember,” she said.

“And why would you believe that? 

“Well,” she said in a mother’s patient voice like she had to explain something for the 100th time, “Things happen quickly in this world.  You just never know. Here one day, gone the next.”

“Wow,” I said.  “Do you really believe that?

“Yes,” she said.  “You have to when you live across the street from a cemetery.”

Jesus says something similar to Peter today.

If you recall from last weekend, Peter had finally gotten something right:

“You are the messiah, the son of the living God.”

And today Jesus says: “These glory days are going to end Peter.  They’re going to end badly.”

Peter won’t hear of it.  “No more of this talk, this way of thinking,” he says.

And Jesus gets angry.  “No Peter, you’ve got to keep the end in mind.

You’ve got to keep the end in mind.  This all passes so quickly.”

And he’s right.  We lose sight of the end.

We fixate on the passing, what makes me happy today.

What fills my stomach and makes my worries float away today.

What gives me pleasure today.

We forget we were made for more than today.

We don’t want to keep the end in mind.  It’s so far off.

And so Jesus says these words that we should paste to our bathroom mirrors.

“What profit would there be to gain the whole world and lose your soul?

What is your life, your real life worth?”