As Though They Had Not Lived

Elizabeth Hayden tombstone

Our first reading today comes from the Book of Sirach.  The message of the scripture is a sobering one.  We are told that those who reject God and who honor themselves instead are destined to fall asleep in death forever.  Memory of them will fade like names carved on a tombstone. It will be as though they had never lived.  On the other hand, those who worship the Lord will live with God forever.

Now will I praise those godly men,
our ancestors, each in his own time.
But of others there is no memory,
for when they ceased, they ceased.
And they are as though they had not lived,
they and their children after them.
Yet these also were godly men
whose virtues have not been forgotten;
Their wealth remains in their families,
their heritage with their descendants;
Through God’s covenant with them their family endures,
their posterity, for their sake.

Every choice that we make has consequences.  The beauty of our faith is that each of us can choose life with the eternal God.  It might require that we give up some of the selfish pleasures of this world.  Isn’t it worth it, though?

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