Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reward for success

Who of us does not want to be successful? Today's first reading reminds us; however, that success does not always bring praise. On the contrary, it often brings the opposite.

Once more we are reminded that bad things happening to us are not a sign that we have somehow made God angry. Indeed they may be the sign that we are doing things precisely the way God would want us to.

St. Paul in today's reading completes the turn toward the Gentiles and is met with incredible success. This success was in turn met with anger by those who wanted to stop Paul, and so they stirred up a persecution. So much for those who would have you believe that if you are a good faithful Christian your life will be happy and filled with blessings.

As often as not, we will find that when we dare to speak the truth, and even more when we succeed in doing God's work there are going to be those who do not like the success and will actively look for an opportunity to bring us down.

If we experience this, we should not worry but count ourselves in good company with the likes of St. Paul, and the many other saints throughout the history of the Church who faced some form of persecution.

Go along to get along was never the Christian way. While we are people who are called to live in peace. Keeping the peace at the expense of the truth is never Christian. After all, can it really be peace if it is built on a lie. We must do it with love but we must always speak the truth and strive to do the will of God. The only reward we should ever seek for our success is the gift of eternal life. And that may in fact be the only reward we see. We should never measure ourself by the praise of others, or rewards in this life. They are far to fleeting. Our relationship with God and the real of of friends and family those things are eternal.