Following Christian virtues leads us and others to the kingdom

AUGUST 4, 2019   EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY  IN ORDINARY TIME  (Lec. 114) 

1)         Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23 

2)         Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11

3)         Luke 12:13-21 Gospel related: CSDC 325, 326

There is a simple, good and holy custom that exists among some. Whenever a funeral procession passes by, one pauses and prays for the person who has died, and for the family grieving their loss. Whether or not we have participated in that custom, it is doubtful any of us has ever witnessed a U-Haul following the hearse to the cemetery.

Why? Because of the old adage, “you can’t take it with you.”

 Fool is not a word we are accustomed to hearing Jesus use.  Jesus’ use of the word in today’s parable is done so to drive home a very important reality. If we are going to spend our lives chasing after things that in the end will not follow us in that U-Haul to the cemetery, instead of following after him, we may not like where we end up.

Jesus does not condemn the rich or call everyone to live in poverty. It is about balance. It is about perspective. Saint Paul puts it this way today: Put to death . . . immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed that is idolatry.

Another way to approach this would be to ask ourselves about our most fundamental and underlying motives for our decisions, behaviors and actions. Is it to serve others or simply to get ahead in life? If we approach whatever we do with the attitude of service to others, we will be rich beyond our imagination. If we approach our actions only with the attitude of, “bigger is better, status is important, success at the expense of others is part of the cost of doing business,” then we are headed toward spiritual poverty, which can produce catastrophic consequences.

We must see each person, including ourselves, as equally contributing to the kingdom of God; each according to his or her abilities and blessings. Remember, God does not show favorites. We are all to be on the same path, for Christ is within each of us, guiding us and sometimes pulling us toward the finish line. So let us spend our time growing rich in the things of God and not of this world.