Ever since I was a kid, my number one goal in life was to be a Major League Baseball player. I wanted to play the game of baseball at its highest level, make millions of dollars and befriend other successful people. Funny thing is, the older I got, and the realization that a career in baseball wasn’t my calling, I came to the conclusion that there was something more out there, something greater that my soul was searching for.
Although it took some time to figure out, I realized that my soul was searching for God. My soul was searching for a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him, something that can’t be bought with fame or money. Today’s Gospel reminded me that the way I live my life will ultimately determine my destination. “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:19)
Once I shifted my mindset, I realized that I had it all backwards. The only thing that was going to fill the God-sized hole in my life was, indeed, God Himself. No amount of fame, money, or any other earthly possession was ever going to bring me the happiness that God could. As the old saying goes, “you can’t take it with you when you go.”
I think we’re all guilty of seeking out the many distractions of this world, or the things that we think are going to bring us happiness. These distractions threaten to sever us from our relationship with God. We, as followers of Christ, must remain diligent in pursuing God above all things. If we continue to follow His will for our lives and keep our eyes on Heaven, the temptations of this world will become less appealing.
What are the things you are binding in your life? Is it money, fame, career success, impressing others or is it faith, family, serving the community, and deepening your relationship with Christ? We know the ones that are going to help us get to Heaven, but the choice isn’t always easy.
As we enter into this season of Lent, let us reflect on the things we’re currently binding on earth. This is the time for us to reprioritize our faith lives and to truly shift our focus from living an earthly life to living for eternal life.
[Readings: 1 Pet 5:1-4; Mt 16:13-19]