Thursday, August 24, 2006
Take some time off why don't you...
One never knows what the future holds.
A man I know is dying today. He just retired about three months ago. He was a security guard, although he worked at many jobs throughout his life. With his wife he raised a family of two, sent them to Catholic schools, owned a house - all the while working very hard in relatively low-paying service jobs. He is a devout Catholic and is a member of the third order of Mt. Carmel. He was looking forward to retirement, hoping to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes and Fatima, paid for in part by his children. His spirituality, as well as that of his wife's, was very simple, very pure - he was a "little one". I often thought of the psalm, "this is the man I approve, the lowly and afflicted one who fears my word" when I saw him. He had a limp that came from injuries at his work years ago; this, with his complete simplicity and joyful smile, endeared him to me.
Soon after retirement, he got a cold, then pneumonia, then was diagnosed with leukemia. Chemo seemed to eradicate it - we thought he would be okay. Then more respiritory problems, then an infection. Soon his kidneys stopped functioning, he needed dialysis. Today everything is shutting down, he is in fact, dying. Please pray for him, his name is Rudi Sepeda.
I thought of Pope Benedict XVI recently recommending that we "not work too hard." Something difficult for the poor to control. In regards the well paid however, one may take the Holy Father's words to heart - especially in light of Mr. Sepeda's short retirement. Recall the Gospel of the rich man who hoarded his possesions. He said to himself, "This is what I will do, I will tear down all my barns and build bigger ones, and store all of my grain and goods in them and will say to my soul: 'My soul, you have plenty of good things laid aside for years to come, take life easy, eat drink and have a good time.'" Yet God said, "This very night the demand will be made for your soul." Luke 12:16-21.
"Be prepared, for the Son of God is coming at an hour you do not expect." Luke 12: 40