In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks again about our relationship to our money and our possessions. Maybe we picture the people of Jesus’ time as poor, living in small thatched homes, walking around in sackcloth and sandals. And there were many poor people following Jesus, because he was their only hope. But notice that Jesus’ concern for everyone, rich or poor, is about our core relationship with money. Personally, I think Jesus was far more respectful of money than we are. He dealt with the reality before him. When it comes to money and possessions, we indulge in a lot of fantasy thinking. We listen to the lies in commercials and convince ourselves, “Oh, I don’t really spend that much,”or “I had a rough day. I deserve a treat,” or “We can always take out a second mortgage to pay off the new furniture…”
In the popular book, Tuesday’s with Morrie, the older man, Morrie, says, “We’ve got a form of brainwashing going on in our country. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. We repeat it and have it repeated to us over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise.”
If there were no deeper meaning to life, maybe all of this would be fine. But Jesus constantly reminds his disciples, “Keep awake! There’s more to this life than meets the eye.” We are people created to be in deep love relationship with God and all of the creatures we live with. We are to be stewards, caretakers, not to be “users” of the creation around us. Money is a symbol for energy; before we spend money, do we think about what impact our purchases will have on our life?
“If we really love God and cherish our relationship with Him, we need to spend time with Him in prayer…. Do not forget, every day read a passage from the Gospel. Prayer springs from intimacy with the Word of God. Do we have this intimacy in our family? Do we have the Gospel in our home? Do we take the time to open it and read it together? Do we meditate on it and pray the rosary? Reading and pondering the Gospel in the family is like a good bread that nourishes the heart of everyone…. Our families need to ask for the gift of the Spirit! Through prayer, even in the busiest of times, we give time back to God, we find the peace that comes from appreciating the important things, and we encounter the joy of God’s unexpected gifts” (Pope Francis, General Audience, August 26, 2015).
Blessings to you in the week ahead and may the Lord’s peace and love surround you and your family!
Listen to my homily today: 09.18.16 Homily
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish