July 16, 2006
Doing good to go to haeven
When we were children our catechism teachers taught us that we must do good to go to heaven. This we believed whole heartedly without question and we tried our best to be good to others.
Later when we were young working adults, our priests told us that we must not do anything with an ulterior motive. We should not expect any rewards for whatever good we do for others.
Now when we are much older and hopefully wiser, we witness a trend based on the belief that we just need to be “holy” to be rewarded a place in heaven in the life hereafter. It is irrelevant whether being good to others is a part of that holiness.
We also realize that nothing is done these days without an ulterior motive, including going to heaven. We go to church, pray, observe all the obligations, receive the sacraments and do some charity hoping these acts would take us to heaven.
Is it right that we do all these with the motive of going to heaven? Doesn’t it constitute blackmailing God?
Another act related to this is fulfilling of vows. Many of us travel hundreds of miles to attend the various feasts, to seek favors and fulfill our vows. Is it right to promise God that we will repay Him in some form if our favors are granted?
In a world that is so competitive and materialistic, we are so desperate at times that we lose our focus in the search for God to help us to solve our problems. We resort, at times, to practices that are unchristian when all we need is the faith that God will provide us with what is best for us.
I am convinced,through the years, that when we sacrifice our time and energy in the service of others, God will definitely come to us. Very often He comes to us in forms which we do not, but often due to our pride and ego, refuse to recognize.
Many of us, from all faiths, leave behind all our responsibilities and become obsessed in seeking God in places where He does not reside, like the holy sites and shrines all over the world.
In this obsession of searching for God, we ignore the pleas of those around us, failing to realize, that is where He dwells. What we need to ask Christ is to give us the wisdom and humility to recognize Him in those around us.
Unless we begin to see God in fellow humans around us we will never encounter the Almighty.