We are reminded this week that terrorism and war are part of human life. And this violence underline themes in today’s readings. Paul tell his unmarried readers not to be too concerned about getting married because “time is running out.” Many persons of Paul’s time expected the end of all things very quickly – in their lifetime.
Our knowledge and understanding of the universe and human life is different: we are aware of the millions of years our universe has existed and the vast distances; human longevity in our time leads us to expect people to live to eighty or ninety. Still, terror, war, disaster, and more daily things like death from cancer or auto accidents remind us of the shortness of our life.
Paul’s words and those of our Lord, the Beatitudes of Luke’s Gospel, ask us to balance the value we put on this life with it’s quickly passing character. We should, Paul says, be “using the world as not using it fully … for the world in it’s present form is passing away.”
Our sorrows and joys, our plans and ambitions, the things that give us pleasure, the things that we do – we can’t simply ignore them. They are all part of who we are. But our faith tells us to look beyond them. Does any one of us ever find the perfect balance between the here-and-now and the here-after? Probably not; we go from one thing to another, to another our whole life. But, the final word has to be that of Jesus: even though we are poor, hungry, hated, and insulted, even though we weep for those taken from us and the heroes who sought to help them, we are blessed in God’s eyes.