A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Our Balance Sheet

Posted on: April 23, 2015

We hear a lot about profit and loss, about companies in the black and in the red, about revenue and deficit—especially right now, with the federal government’s latest budget this week and the personal income tax deadline just around the corner.

Of course the state of our financial health as a nation and individually matters, but how about the state of our spiritual health?

We live in a country with abundant natural resources and a reputation for peacekeeping and compassion but where there is no law on abortion, where the ban on physician-assisted death has been struck down, where the statistics on missing and murdered women don’t give rise to the outrage and action they should.

Individually, we say we are Christians and serve in our parish and the community—but do we then fail to declare our income honestly on our tax forms, engage in cyberbullying, or watch pornography?

Jesus asks (in Mark 8:36-37*), “For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?”

If we’re more concerned about accumulating money and acquiring possessions and living for pleasure than about pursuing justice and mercy and acting out of compassion and love, then our spiritual balance sheet will reflect that. And we could find ourselves at the Lord’s left hand, told to depart from him for our failure to minister to the hungry, the imprisoned, and others in need (see Matthew 25:41-43).

Now is the time to ask God’s forgiveness and his guidance in learning how to be in the world but close to God, as the apostle Paul urged (Romans 12:2):

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I pray that we would turn our attention away from the world’s view of the good life to Jesus’ view so that the way we live will bring these welcome words at the end: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

(*Scripture quotes and reference taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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