READINGS for 2008-10-20
“Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15
It was the evening of August 20, 1989. The Menendez couple — Jose, a successful and wealthy businessman and his wife, Kitty — had dozed off in the family room of their Beverly Hills mansion. Then two boys entered their house and killed them with a 12-gauge shotgun. The primary suspects were their two sons, aged 21 and 18. The motive? The father domineered them and had threatened to disinherit them. So to get their inheritance and spend it on their lavish desires, they murdered their parents. Prosecutors later alleged that the two boys spent about $1 million within their first six months as orphans.
After the second trial, both were convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. On July 2, 1996, they were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Wanting to have more — more possessions, more power, more recognition — for the wrong motives can lead people to do evil at the expense of others. Living the good life has nothing to do with what one has or has achieved. It’s about living a life in relationship with Jesus and doing His will. Judith Concepcion
“One does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
Lord, purify my motives and my desires. May I live only for You.
Before God stepped into our lives and redeemed us, we were helpless and dead to sin. There is no way that anyone can sustain a logical and coherent argument to the contrary. Thus, we all stand in gratitude to God for the gift of salvation. There is nothing we could have done about our situation. Only God could save us. Let us recognize this gift of salvation by seeking to live in accordance with the responsibilities of those who have been saved.
Ephesians 2: 1-10
1 Brothers and sisters: You were dead in your transgressions and sins 2 in which you once lived following the age of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient. 3 All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh, following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so no one may boast. 10 For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.
P S A L M
Psalm 100: 1b-2, 3, 4ab, 4c-5
R: The Lord made us, we belong to him.
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; 2 serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. (R) 3 Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. (R) 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. (R) Give thanks to him; bless his name, 5 for he is good, the LORD, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. (R)
G O S P E L
So many of the disputes that I witness in families has to do with the distribution of inheritances. What is worse is that the more money involved, the worse the disputes get, even to the extent that siblings sue one another. Then the inheritance is exhausted in legal fees! This is all sheer greed and sin. Whatever happened to the idea of sharing according to one’s needs? No one can take anything with them to heaven when they die anyway! The more wealth we have, the greater our responsibility to care for the poor. If we thought in these terms more often, perhaps we would not seek to accumulate money and things in the way we often do.
13 Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 14 He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 15 Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 17 He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ 18 And he said, “This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods 19 and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ 21 Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”
think:No one can take anything with them to heaven when they die.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Sirach 46-49
TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY TAX
To pay or not to pay tax, that is a very vexing question. There are some who argue that we have every right to minimize our tax payment as much as is legally possible. This may be legal, but is it moral? Do we not have a moral responsibility to support the government that provides all sorts of services to the country? Isn’t it we’re responsible in supporting the social services of our country that are theoretically designed to help the poor in their struggle to better their lives? I would think that we have a moral responsibility to pay a reasonable level of tax in order to meet the moral requirement of doing what we can to support those less well-off than we are.
On the other hand, there are those who argue that many of the policies of the government (war, family planning usingcontraceptives, etc.) are against our Christian faith and along with the level of corruption, take it to mean that we do not have an obligation to pay taxes. I do not follow the latter view. There is a moral obligation to support and recognize the authority of the secular state (cf. Romans 13). If we think the government is corrupt or wrong in its policies, then we should seek to reform and renew it so that its policies and practices are in accord with what is right and good.
Jesus tells us to render to Caesar (the state) that which belongs to it, and whether we like it or not, all money belongs to the state at one level as you will not be taking any of it to heaven. We live in the world but we are not of the world. Our lives are but a passing event in the history of the world, and our ultimate destination is heaven! It is this truth that we have to reflect in the way we live in the world, witnessing to the fact that there is far more at stake than the things the world offers us. Fr. Steve Tynan
Is my life grounded in a vision of eternal life or is it focused upon what I intend to get out of my life here and now?
Jesus, help me to follow Your will and make it the first priority of my life. I know my life is but a passing reality in this world. Help me to prepare well for the next.
Sts. Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil, martyrs, pray for us.
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