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Some time ago, I attended a party supposed to be a farewell party for a friend going back to his home country for good. I did not expect that it was also meant to be an occasion to give awards to some people for things they had done for the organizers of the gathering.

Giving of awards occurs all the time in our culture. Awards are given for a variety of reasons, some for reasons that are truly significant, some for even trivial ones.

There are awards given for someone's contributions to humanity, for saving lives, or for excelling in school, or for acting skills, etc. Sometimes awards are given to some simply for their being in positions of power and to ingratiate the award-giver to the award recipient.

There is, however, one award that we should aspire for, an award that will not gather dust like trophies in forgotten shelves, or like school diplomas hanging but only temporarily on walls of houses only to be taken down after the awardees are gone.

Our Lord talked about awards, or treasures to be stored for one's self in heaven, where moth and rust do not consume. The only award that will truly matter is the award that Jesus will give us at the end of our days when He says: "Come, blessed of My Father and receive the kingdom that has been prepared for you by My Father . . . for I was hungry and you gave Me to eat . . I was thirsty and you gave Me to drink . . ."

We know the rest of the story. We read it in Scriptures and is proclaimed often at Masses.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." (1 Cor 9:24)

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing.…" (2 Timothy 7)

May we all value and keep this heavenly prize or award in mind in our daily lives, to live for, and to aspire for.#

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