In the first reading, St. Paul tells us that the spiritual transformation of a Christian is an ongoing process. One does not become holy or a saint all of a sudden. It is a daily process in which the Christian dies to his old self and experiences rebirth every day. One must give up his sinful inclinations every day, and this is really a spiritual battle. For this he needs the Holy Spirit to strengthen and support him.
The Christian’s goal in life is to go to heaven so his values in life are heavenly values. His creed is the beatitudes as expressed in the gospel of today. He looks for poverty, hardships and persecutions if these will bring him to heaven. He knows that earthly joys last only for a moment, but heaven lasts forever. For him, Christ is everything, and nothing else truly matters. He is happy to be deemed worthy to suffer a little for the kingdom of God.
And how about us, what are we living for? To earn a little money? To have a little comfort? To dissipate ourselves in worldly activities? Well, they won’t give us true happiness. All the saints discovered this early on in their lives and that is why they decided to take the narrow path, the path of hardship and self-denial, for the sake of the kingdom. Why? Because they knew that this path leads to heaven, leads to God.