18th Sunday in the Ordinary Time: God is Our True Security

07-24-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

Lk 12:1321

After an interruption from someone in the crowd, Jesus shifts the focus of His teaching from not being afraid of persecution to not worrying about provisions for the future.

Jesus makes this point in the Parable of the Rich Fool proper to the Gospel of Luke. He warns them of the predicament of the rich man and about the danger of greed. When one focuses only on material wealth, it leads to selfabsorption. We need to trust God He will provide.Trust our past to God’s mercy. Trust our present to God’s love and trust our future to God’s providence.The idea of “growing rich” for ourselves is deceptive, as Scripture exposes. So, try or strive to grow rich in the sight of God, which leads to a joyful and peaceful way of life.

To grow rich or to have the power to store material thing is not evilper se. Being filthy rich is a sin: Did our money come from an illegal or dishonest means? Did we trample other people in growing our wealth? Being greedy and rich is also a sin. Remember, we are all stewards of God’s creation. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Are we generous, meaning we are not just receivers but more so are sharers? The hands we use to receive must be more than open to give. Generosity liberates, while greed imprisons.We pray that the Lord reminds us that what matters most at the end of this life is not what we hold in our hands butwhat and who we have in our hearts.

The second reading reminds all whose only focus and concern are to grow rich in this world.If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. (Col. 3:1)

Worldly possessions are passing; we cannot put our total trust in them. Asking a hypothetical question: If everything vanishes from us, will it diminish our value as a person? Our value cannot be measured by how much we have in our bank accounts, real estate, or other money portfolios. All material things are vanities, Qoheleth says. The Book of Ecclesiasticus adds that all our struggles, labors, and energetic efforts, in the end, are worthless. The book reminds us that with all the hard work we all leave it when we die. And the sad part is; that those who have not worked for it end up owning it. Thus, the Qoheleth concludes:“All things are vanities.”

I have said this many times: Remember that life is a journey to God’s heart. There will be stops in the journey to rest, to nourish ourselves, but then we continue. There will be obstacles, problems, challenges, resistance, and even persecutions; be brave, strong, and persevere. It helps if we travel light by not focusing on the provisions for the journey, for these can become a distraction and make us lose our way. Keep the focus on the mission and final destination. We are on the road, we are all on a journey, and HEAVEN is our final destination.“Perhaps all of life is no more than a long preparation for leaving it.” (J. Barnville)When Fr. Gerry Orbos, SVD, encounters the “end of life” theme, he would ask: Do you have an “exit plan”? He suggests that aside from our retirement or memorial plan, have we thought about how we plan to exit from this life? If Our True security is in God.