READINGS for 2009-10-19
BEComING A mIllIoNAIRE
“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” – Luke 12:15
Imagine you won a hundred million pesos from lotto. What would you do with the money? Are your thoughts geared towards all the fun stuff you can do with it? Are you thinking of retirement, a bigger house, fancy cars, travel and all the other stuff you’ve always wanted to have? Or do you think about what God may want you to do with the money?
A good guideline to follow concerning possessions is to contemplate the question of what Christ would do if He were in your shoes.
Greed is keeping what we don’t need. Sometimes we feel like money and all other material wealth will make everything all right. We think that it can cure our ills and make us happy, which is why we keep on accumulating them.
But there are many things that are more important than money. True joy comes to us not from what we own but from what we are able to give to others.Jane Gonzales
Abundance is for sharing, not for hoarding.
Forgive me, Lord, for those times I have been greedy. Take what I have and use it for Your glory. Amen.
We see the depth of the faith of Jesus in His Father in that He willingly allowed Himself to undergo suffering and death, trusting, knowing through faith that His Father would vindicate Him. This is the depth of faith to which the Holy Spirit calls us all. We are called to nothing less than a 100 percent surrender to God’s will. The truth is, surrender to God’s will is the surest path to happiness and fulfillment. The world may offer alternatives for this but they will always come up short and empty.
20 Brothers and sisters: Abraham did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God 21 and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do. 22 That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 But it was not for him alone that it was written that “it was credited to him”; 24 it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.
P S A L M
Luke 1:68-69. 70-72. 73-75
R: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
68 He has come to his people and set them free. 69 He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. (R) 70 Through his holy prophets he promised of old 71 that he would save us from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. 72 He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. (R) 73 This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to set us free f rom the hand of enemies, free to worship him without fear 75 holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. (R)
G O S P E L
And so we are called to reflect once again on the responsibility of riches. Let us acknowledge that focusing on them is not going to do us any good at all as they do not accompany us to heaven. Riches are given to us for a purpose — to benefit the work of the Kingdom of God. If our riches are not being employed in that way then it would be better for us to get rid of them as they are only a distraction.
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: Riches are given to us for a purpose — to benefit the work of the Kingdom of God.
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 Isaiah 9-12
gOd OR mAmmOn?
For Jesus, to be rich was not evil; He had rich friends. He had nothing against having worldly goods. After all, possessions are necessary for life; they are gifts given by God for ourselves and through us for others. But possessions can become obsessions. When I become so occupied with what I could have that I no longer hear what God tells me, then I have got my priorities all mixed up.
That’s the problem of the man in today’s Gospel who asks Jesus to come and make his brother give him his share of the family inheritance. Jesus has nothing against justice being done between the two brothers. But He is disappointed that after listening to all His preaching, this man’s first concern still remains his share of the inheritance. And so Jesus warns against greed, saying, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.” All kinds? Are there different kinds of greed? Yes, there are.
To illustrate this, Jesus tells the Parable of the Rich Fool. I ask you: What wrong did this man do? The man had done his honest work on his farm and the land had given a good harvest. The man decided to build a larger barn for the crop so that he could enjoy the rest of his life. He did not know that the rest of his life would last less than 24 hours.
Jesus uses this rich man as an illustration of greed even though he took nobody’s money and did not do wrong. His greed lies in what he did not do — thinking of the shortness of life and the possibility of facing his Creator any moment. We begin to see why Jesus was so hard on greed. Greed diverts from what is essential; it is the worship of another god, a god called “Mammon” in the Bible. That is money or materialism. And so Jesus invites us today once more to believe in the God of Jesus Christ who is the giver and owner of human life, but who alone also can give eternal life. Jesus makes us aware not to believe in and worship the god of this world who gives us the false promise of immortality through accumulation of possessions. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Do I focus more on things I have or need than on the life to come?
Lord, in this materialistic world, I feel also the lure of money and possessions. Help me to free myself from these attractions and focus more on Your Word and the promise of eternal life.
St. Isaac Jogues and Companions, Martyrs, pray for us.
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