A letter for From Fr. Paul—July 31, 2016
We have received a thank you from Tanzania for our very generous donation to Living Waters. Five new wells will be constructed and others repaired. Pictures and information will be put up in the back of church as we get them.
As we pass the midpoint of the Catholic Stewardship Appeal, 15% of our parishioners have given $11,158 or 45% of our goal. We are part of the Church of Milwaukee and have an obligation to support its offices and ministries (from which we benefit). If you have not yet contributed, I urge you to do so. Thank you.
Our gardens and lawn look beautiful. Thanks to Neil Krumenauer, our maintenance person, for the lawn and to our Garden Angels for the plants and landscaping!
This weekend our readings deal with one of the 7 deadly sins, avarice, which we would more commonly call “greed.” In our first reading we are reminded that “vanity of vanity, and all is vanity” here on earth (you can’t take it with you!!!). Paul tells us in the second reading to “seek what is above, not what is on earth,” listing “earthly" things and ending with “the greed that is idolatry.” And in the Gospel we hear, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then Jesus gives the example of a rich man who builds big barns to store his goods and guarantee his future so he can “eat, drink, and be merry.” The rich man did nothing wrong, as far as we know. Like the rich man with Lazarus, he got his wealth honestly. And for the Jews, that was a sign of blessing, of God’s favor.
But notice in the short speech we have from the rich man, he uses “I” 6 times and “my” 5 times. Never WE, US, YOU. There is no sign of concern for anyone else but himself and THAT is the problem, as it was with the rich man in the story about Lazarus: they were focused on themselves and their security and pleasure, ignoring those in want around them.
These readings invite us to reflect on our relationship with our possessions: do we possess them or do they possess us? Recognizing that God gives us blessings to share with others, how generous am I? Do I really share what has been given to me? Or do I only share what is “left over”? How do need to grow in this area? And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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