Study: In your personal life, what have been some of the best “signs” that have pointed you in the right direction? Is it a person, an experience, or perhaps an activity?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the spiritual sight to recognize God’s signs within our daily lives.
Serve: How might you be a source of direction and guidance for another? How might your life point the way for another to follow?
I often am traveling in unfamiliar places. Unsure of my directions, I am extra careful when it comes to reading the road signs; all it takes is one wrong turn to cause a delay or even greater confusion.
Road signs are important for travel. They guide us, remind us of our distance and time, reassure us about our direction, and help us reach our destination safely. These signs make certain that the trip will result in our timely and secure arrival.
We use signs in other parts of our lives as well. We look for cues from one another in our relationships to show us if we are on good terms with others. We have progress reports to help us assess how our work is going. And we often ask for evaluations after programs to determine if the presentation was helpful. All of these examples show us that signs aid us in living our lives in a healthy and happy fashion.
In the Gospel we hear the familiar story of the rich man and Lazarus. It is a classic tale about the reversal of fortunes between this world and the next. Yet the twist in this parable happens when the rich man, from the midst of his suffering, wants to go back and warn his brothers about their impending fate. Abraham reminds him, “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”
This sobering statement reminds us that our choices result in consequences that hold us accountable. Our words and actions make a difference, for good or evil, and the great power of our choices affects ourselves and others in many ways.
Yet Abraham’s reply can also fill us with hope. We possess the Scriptures; we know the commandments God offers us. With these signs we can journey through life aware of our opportunities and responsibilities. God has given us everything we need to face our joys and sorrows in this world, and with these “road signs” we trust that we will be united with God completely in the eternal world to come.