Love Never Passes Away 2-3-2019

The story goes that one time a very prominent person in California died. He stood before the beautiful gates of heaven, hoping to get in, but a large angel stood at the gate and would not let him pass. “To get in,” said the angel, “you must show that you accomplished something significant, something really important in your life on earth.”
The man breathed a sigh of relief, because he had accomplished many things. “Well,” he said, “I feel I accomplished a lot. For one thing, I went to school and got excellent grades. After high school I went to the university on a scholarship, and all the teachers admired my work. I ended up graduating with highest honors, and writing a book.”
“That’s nice,” said the angel, “but I’m talking about a significant accomplishment. One that doesn’t pass away with time.”
The man was a little shaken, but not really frightened. He had done many other things. “Well, while I was in college, I played soccer. I was probably the best player that school ever had. I got to play in the Olympics and our team all won gold medals.”
“That’s nice,” said the angel, “but I need to know if you accomplished anything significant in you life – something that doesn’t pass away with time.”
The man began to perspire a little bit. “Well, holy angel,” he said, “I was blessed with good looks. I was very handsome, and had my pick of all the women in the world. Finally I ended up marrying a movie star. All the magazines and newspapers reported how beautiful our wedding ceremony was.
The angel tried to hide a little yawn. “How nice,” the angel said, “but did you do anything in life that was really important – something that wouldn’t pass?”
The man was now getting frightened. “Well,” he said, “after I was done with school, I started my own engineering and construction company. We built great bridges. We built mighty freeways. We built tall sky-scrapers. I made millions of dollars and lived in a palace. They even named a town after me.”
The angel shrugged. “I’m very sorry,” the angel replied. “All those things you’ve mentioned are nice, and perhaps even interesting…but they’re not important. They’re not what you need to get into heaven. They all pass away.”
And then the man remembered the reading form St. Paul, that we had today. Faith, hope and especially love, never pass away. And he looked back at his life, and it all seemed so different now. All those accomplishments he had thought were so important now seemed not so important. He felt confused and ashamed. “Well,” he said, “once, a long time ago, I gave an apple to a young girl who had nothing to eat.”
“At last!” The angel smiled, “something really significant. You wasted most of your life, but thank God you didn’t waste all of it! You did accomplished one important thing. Enter the kingdom of God!
Brothers and sisters, let’s not waste our time and energy on earth, but let’s devote ourselves to doing things that last.
Remember, love never passes away!


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