Are you a winner or a loser?
Because I bet many people that cruise through life thinking they are winners will actually be determined losers upon death. You see, the only thing that matters in this life is if this journey gets us to Heaven or not. If we make it to Heaven then we are winners, but if not, we are losers. And unfortunately, there are a great many of us that are losers, and not close to living in a way that will deem us to be winners some day. Many of us earnestly believe that everyone is a winner and Heaven, well it is the ultimate participation trophy prize. The Truth though, is that this is just not so. Jesus spoke in Scripture much more frequently about Hell than about Heaven, and for good reason. He wanted us all to avoid the damnation of Hell. He gives us the recipe for eternal salvation, and the means by which to accept this most wonderful and amazing gift – the Church.
The Church has clear and precise teachings, dogmas, doctrines and sacraments to aid us in the acceptance of the gift of our salvation, our birthright. The problem is, most of us give that gift away. It is not something that we deserve or earn, but all the same, we very easily just give up our birthright of Heaven, just as Esau gives away his birthright as the first born of Issac does in the Bible. He hands over his very birthright to Jacob for some “red stuff”. As if it meant nothing and had very little value.
The value of our salvation is immeasurable. Maybe that it why it is so hard to formulate our own dedication and plan for it’s acceptance. Perhaps it is just too big and too overwhelming for us to grasp. So, we don’t. It is much easier for us to just go with the flow, and do what we want. Trying to live according to God’s law and expectation is just way to restrictive and oppressive an idea to many of us. While some of us realize that it is actually the most freeing and liberating way to live. It takes trust though, and we are unable to trust who we do not know, which is why we are commanded to pray, go to Mass, and follow the teachings that the Church gives us. The Church does this so that we can grow in relationship with Christ, come to know him and then trust him. We don’t do these things for God, God doesn’t need anything from us, we are the ones that need him, and desperately so. Only once we know Him and Trust Him can we surrender and offer all that we are to him. This is what will get us to Heaven. Jesus offers himself as a total gift to us, but we must do so in return. That is the love of which is God’s essence.
Free will is essential to God, he wants us to love him, as he loves us. Love cannot be forced. Love is the total gift of oneself offered for the good of another. This is precisely what Jesus does for us on the cross. If we walk away, reject his love, by refusing to utilize the graces he offers us through the Church and through relationship with him, then we are not sent to Hell by God, we choose if for ourselves. We are losers.
The one and only thing that matters in this life, is living in a way to reach Heaven. Nothing else matters. And that decides if we are losers or winners.