Sunday, July 31, 2016

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Be Rich in God Poor in the World

Today's readings deal with vanity and materialism.

In the first reading, we read how it is vain to labor for things of the world.  What does it profit for someone to work hard under the Sun and not focus on what is truly important?  All of this person's life was based on anxiety on what will happen next and sadness.  He or she is not at rest thinking of tomorrow.  While work is important in this world, we must not forget the work of perfecting our lives in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:12).  Life is not supposed about increasing material wealth and ignoring God (Matthew 6:24). Our lives on this world are short, therefore, we should not plan on a long stay by gathering riches (James 4:14, Psalm 39:5).  If we hear God's voice, we must not harden our heart as the Psalm for today tells us.  God controls our existence. If He calls us back to dust, we will return (Genesis 3:19). We can plan our lives to the minute, but God can take it all away whenever He wants (Proverbs 16:9).  Time is nothing to God.  Thousands of years are like a watch in the night, we are told. To us, time seems forever.

It seems like our enemy at times when we feel that there is just not enough of it.  This is because we forget that God is the author of our existence.  We must ask God to teach us to number our days aright, or plan our lives in the way we must in order to be with Him.  We must listen to His voice always. In the second reading, we are reminded to seek what is above.  If we are part of Christ.  If we were baptized into the body of Christ, then we must seek what is above and follow the vows we made. We must think of what is above and not on earth.  Earth will pass (Matthew 24:35).  Even scientists tell us that our world and even our Sun have their expiration dates. Therefore, we must not dwell on life thinking that earth is our final destination.  We died with Christ to the world and must live for Him (Romans 6:8).  All things that plague us must be put to death: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed etc.  We must stop lying to one another and offending one another.  A new self in Christ must be put on (Ephesians 4:24).

Finally in the Gospel, someone asks Jesus about an inheritance and Jesus replies that one must guard against greed and remember that one's life does not consist of possessions. Then Jesus tells the parable of a rich man who wished to stored all of his goods believing that he would enjoy them. However, when God calls him home, then he cannot take his possessions with him  Christ reminds us that we must not store up treasures on earth for ourselves. We must not be rich in the things of this world and not rich in what matters to God. This world shall pass.  Gathering up wealth just for the sake of gathering it is not beneficial to anyone. Having money and goods is not evil. What makes it evil is when we worship them and use them to define ourselves and others (1 Timothy 6:10). I remember going to public school and being told that I must get an education in order to get a good paying job and live comfortably.

This is not the reason why we must get an education. Moreover, getting a job is not supposed to be about obtaining wealth as if that is all life is supposed to be about. Money and material things will not bring happiness.  How many times do we read or hear about actors and singers resorting to drug use in order to escape life?  These people have it all in the eyes of the world.  They have money, power, fans and so on, yet they are unhappy. This is because material wealth can be a huge burden on a human person.  Moreover, if he or she sees this wealth as a definition of him or herself, then this will bring about problems. Instead, we should store up riches in God.  In other words, we should focus on obtaining grace and not the things of this world. May Jesus be praised.




Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/073116.cfm

In light of today's readings, please consider making a donation or becoming a benefactor to help me spread the Gospel to others using man's technologies. Do not store up treasures on earth but use some of it to help spread the Gospel in today's technological age, please donate at: www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus.

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