I remind you to be aware of scammers who are asking for gift cards, etc., in the name of the pastor. If you get a “request” from me, please be skeptical. Before you open it or click on anything, e-mail me to ask if I really sent it.
Do I own my things or do my things own me? That might be the question we are asked to reflect on by our readings this weekend.
In the first reading from Wisdom, we are told that wisdom, defined as “prudence” or being able to discern what is really important, is more valuable than power, position, possessions, good looks, and even health, because wisdom brings happiness and a true sense of the meaning of life.
In the Gospel, Jesus invites a rich young man to give away his possessions and join the crowd following Jesus. He is too attached to his things and goes away sad.
Nothing in the Gospels demands that we give away everything, as Jesus invited the rich young man and as did St. Francis of Assisi. But living Gospel values demands that we watch out for two things: always wanting more, no matter how much we have, thus making material things the central focus of our lives; and not being willing to share with those in need.
Having material goods can free me to live and share with others. For example, our sister parish collection is being taken up at this time. We have so much more than the parishioners at Santa Maria Nebaj. Am I free enough of my possessions to be able to share generously? Or am I allowing my possessions and desire for more to tie me down?
Jesus tells us at the end of this weekend’s Gospel that those who have given up things for the sake of the Gospel will receive a hundred times more in this life, that is, a sense of joy and purpose, followed by eternal life. Do our actions show we believe this?
I invite us to reflect this week on the question, do I own my things, so that I am free to share, or do they own me?
Church sign of the week: God’s grace gives us what we don’t deserve. God’s mercy saves us from what we do deserve.