Reflection: Shortcuts

“Who wants to go to heaven” priest asked the faithful during one of Sunday’s homily. Almost all present raised their hands in “YES”. The priest encouraged the faithful and then asked the second question, “Now, who wants to die?”

Take a moment to imagine yourself in the scene, where would your hands be? Perhaps they would be wrapped tightly within themselves in our lap or stuck holding onto the pew in front of us.

In the story, no one, not even a single person raised his or her hand. We want to go to heaven, but we are afraid of how to get there!

Dear friends, today in our society we are so used to shortcuts. Shortcuts to success and to so many other things in our lives that sometimes we forget that there was a Good Friday in Jesus’ life before Easter Sunday. Being Jesus’ disciples and followers, we know that there is no “short cut” to heaven.

We may say, “I want to be in heaven but do I believe I will be in heaven?” If yes, then why?

In my own experience here in the United States, we want to do everything FAST. I believe that fast food is a great example of this. What happens when we need to wait in a line for anything? We become impatient and frustrated! Even though it is only a few minutes, minutes that we liberally spend in front of the TV later in the day.

We have adopted such a “Fast Life Style” that when the time comes to stop or slow down we become impatient. How often do we completely stop at a stop sign? It’s hard!

Slowing down is different from stopping. So let us take time to slow down and stop where God is calling us in our lives to appreciate what we have, and reflect more deeply on our thoughts, words, and actions that may keep us from fully living out our lives.

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The Province of St. Augustine in California

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