How will you be remembered after you are gone? I started asking myself this question last night after I learned of the death of a classmate of mine. He was a patient at the nursing home where my better half works and she told me when I got home. Now I admit he and I weren’t close and I had lost touch with him after graduation until I learned he was one of Tonya’s patients, but anytime someone close to my age passes it bothers me. But there was something more that bothered me more than that.

As I said I had pretty lost touch with him after graduation so I have no idea what kind of person he may have been. I don’t know what kind of demons he may have had or what kind of problems. All that Tonya had to say was that he “was an old and miserable man and hopefully he will find some kind of peace now.”  Is this how you will be remembered? Is this how you want to be remembered? Is this how my classmate wanted to be remembered?

In today’s world we have our priorities so messed up, we think only of what is in it for us. We have become so busy trying to make a living that we forget to live. (I know that isn’t original but I won’t tell if you don’t.) And we certainly don’t live the way God wants us to. Instead of treating each other with respect, instead of treating others as we ourselves wish to be treated, we attack one another over stupid, mindless, unimportant things. When someone doesn’t agree with us, we vilify them instead of sitting down and having a rational and calm discussion.

Since I last wrote here back in August, we have suffered through an agonizing presidential campaign. There were vicious attacks from all sides of the political spectrum. And now after four months, it hasn’t stopped. Both sides are still fighting, one side attacks the other without mercy, and nothing gets done. I will be the first to admit that I was extremely surprised at the results of the election, I never thought the Clinton machine would be brought down, but it was and now the same people who gloated for the last eight years and preached to the other side about how we must all get along and not be sore losers are the loudest voices. If the results had been different and the loser was the winner, it would be no different. We live in a world full of hate and violence. We are in a world where there is an ism for everyone, everyone is labeled, everyone shouts and no one listens. And this is exactly what Satan is after.

Can you imagine if we all lived the words of today’s gospel here on the Seventh Sunday of Ordinary time?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,* go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors* do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? – Matthew 5:38 – 48

Maybe if enough of us remember this passage we could actually make progress towards a better world for all of us? Okay, now that I have wandered off from my original theme, how can I get this back to how do you want to be remembered?

Maybe if we follow the advice from the cited gospel we would be remembered as someone who always treated others with respect, kindness, love and generosity. Maybe if we stored up our treasures in heaven rather than here on earth we would be remembered differently.

As I said, I had lost track of my high school friend, I don’t know what kind of life he led, what he was like, all I know is what Tonya said about him, and that is how she will remember him.

Is that how you want others to remember you?

I realize it has been some time since I have written here (or anywhere for that matter) but the last few months have been pretty busy. We have moved and really started over. We have downsized and have never been happier.And I owe it all to God.