“Is There Salvation for the Old?”

happy-old-people1Our U.S. culture was right all along.  It’s all for the youth preferably under 30.  Baby Boomers and those older may spend all the healthcare but there’s a reward for the young in heaven.  Heaven is reserved for the young.  Running, walking straight, perfect vision and hearing, limbs all in tact, always awake and alert with a crisp mind…who does Jesus think he is?  (Didn’t he live just 33 years?)

Just listen to your Bible and decide for yourself.  St. Paul says “he’s run toward the goal and he’s run a good race.”  (I don’t like walking to my car!)  St. Matthew says, “If you have ears to hear.”  (What’s all this about “years.”  I don’t get it!)  He also says, “God has blessed you, because your eyes can see and your ears can hear!”  (Thirty years ago that passage might have meant something to me.)  “If you have ears, pay attention!”  ( I have ears but that’s not the problem!)  St. Mark wisely asks, “Are your eyes blind and your ears deaf?”  (Yes!  That’s what I’m trying to tell you.)

Back to Matthew, “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away!”  (If I could feel it, I would.  Or, if I could reach it, I would.)  Matthew again, “And don’t carry a traveling bag or an extra shirt or sandals or a walking stick. Workers deserve their food.”  (Then let me starve because my cane is my new-found friend and I don’t want my “foot to slip” as the Bible says.)  Matthew once more, “A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples.”  (Water’s easy.  Try walking  down the hallway toward the dining room without stopping!)

“Stay awake for you know not the hour!” the Bible says.  (Good luck with that.  That’s the best part of my day is the slow slumber with a book in my lap. Most days I think it’s afternoon when it’s still morning.)

Cut out your eye?  Life’s already done that for me regardless of my past sins.  Cut off your hand?  I knew I shouldn’t have had all those Florida vacations.  There’s no need to cut it off.

Thankfully there’s little mention of a dwindling mind since mine is frozen in the 60’s.  (Peter’s three-time denial of Jesus would have me say, “What did I say the first time?”)

Hearing can be relative when I announce that Confessions are Friday at 4:00 p.m. and there’s not a peep.  I say Friday’s Cocktail Party is cancelled and suddenly a hearing miracle occurred.  “Praise the Lord!”

Faith tells us when there’s less of you then there’s more room for God to enter our lives.  Boomers and those even far older have a lot of room for the saving and loving presence of God to fill in emptying eyes, selective hearing, wobbling legs, a slow, staggered walk but also have strong hearts for a body that is growing old but is always ready to receive the Body of Christ.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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