Friday, July 29, 2022

Seek The Things That Are Eternal! Grow Rich In The Sight Of The Lord!

Being a dedicated Catholic Christian challenges us to make difficult choices that cause pain in so many areas of our life.  
Our Gospel and readings today definitely pits our faith in God against a world that denies His very existence.  And yet, without that world, we often are unable to survive in some of the very basic areas of providing a livelihood.

Jesus in St. Luke’s Gospel tells us to guard against all greed.  His reasoning is based upon the attitude we need to take and how we prioritize the wealth we have.  The balance lies in our perspective of what wealth means to us and how we use it.

Most of us, I believe, look at wealth as a way to provide for our needs and that of our family.  We come to a decision of what that means to us by weighing what we need to do to accomplish this.  Some take a path of learning in schools or in apprentice positions to reach a career path.  Others have a passion for what they want to do in life and still others just fall into a position after working at something they enjoy.

What Jesus is talking about is the person whose attitude is self-centered.  Becoming wealthy is the goal and one’s happiness is based on material goods through his or her efforts, without God’s input.  What is not in the equation is sharing it with others in need.  The attitude is: I earned it, it is mine and only I decide how I want to spend it.

Those who think in this way have a myopic vision of what the world is and are possessed by its wealth, power and fame.  What they forgot or never considered is God’s part in their lives.  They cannot think past the number of years they will live on earth and do not recognize the possibility of an afterlife which offers true happiness, joy and peace.  It is a life in which all our needs are taken care of because we are faithful to the ways of the Lord who practices love, mercy and forgiveness.

In 2018 I sold my securities practice after working in it for 30 plus years.  During that time I worked with various people who viewed wealth in a multitude of ways depending on their perspective.  There were two main thought patterns I primarily received from those clients: First, I want to make sure I have enough money to retire; and second, I don’t want to outlive my money.  Of those who had children, they were willing to share what they had as part of a legacy.

Periodically, I had a client who wanted to amass great wealth for his or her personal purposes and had an attitude of spending it before they passed.  It was that person who I talked with the most about alternate ideas to be able to do what they wanted but could still share it with others less fortunate.  In most cases I was able to convince them to consider other alternatives.  For two, I was not who I believe become the slave of their wealth and to this day have not found any peace in their lives.

St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians advised the newly Baptized to follow the ways of Jesus.  By focusing on this they would be able to live a more balanced life that provides the best of what God offers and we need.

Let us take this week to look at whatever plans we either have in place or are still looking at for our future.  Does it allow for sharing with those in need, whether they be loved ones or otherwise?  Does it complement what Jesus said in today’s Gospel: “…for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions?”

We are invited to have proper priorities in our lives that place our trust in God.  How we amass wealth and what we do with it is what makes a difference in this world and for God’s Kingdom in heaven.  Hopefully, we will make the right choice.

Reading 1: Ecclesiastes 1: 2; 2: 21-23
Reading 2: Colossians 3: 1-5, 9-11
Gospel: Luke 12: 13-21

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