The scripture readings today tell us that there are two kinds of people; those who are happy and those who are not. The happy people are those who know what counts. Those who remain unhappy are those who chase the things that do not count. What is it that counts? The only thing that counts is having God in your life. The prophet Jeremiah proclaims in the first reading, ‘A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope’ (Jeremiah 17:7). The Psalmist adds his voice, ‘Happy indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked; nor lingers in the company of scorners’ (Psalm 1:1). The second readings tells us why we should flee the company of sinners. We have been delivered from the power of sin through the power of Christ’s resurrection. Our joy is found in our freedom from sin which is also freedom from eternal death. Saint Paul adds that, “If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people” (1 Corinthian 15:19). We are happy because our hope extends from earth to heaven. This means that those who are unhappy place all their hopes in this world.
Jesus says in the Gospel that those who glory in their worldly possessions and material accomplishments, those who satisfy their greed with what rightfully belongs to others through cheating and corruption, those who inflict pain on others through deception, those who leave a trail of broken hearts and empty promises, those who foment trouble and incite violence through divisive talk and provocation and all other wrong doers will remain unhappy in this life. If they refuse to repent and die in their sins, they will remain unhappy for all eternity. But God has not made anyone to be unhappy or to perish in hell. You have a serious choice to make. Choose what counts. Choose the One who makes life meaning fullness. By choosing Jesus, you are choosing the fullness of life and happiness.