Monday, October 20, 2014

Life is more than possessions: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, October 20th, 2014

(Listen to this homily here.)

            This morning Jesus reminds us that, “one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
            This fact is important to remember in a society which puts a premium on money, new cars, big homes and IRAs.  Recently I have noted a ton of retirement commercials on TV—what is my life expectancy?  what is my money expectancy?—they ask.  Now it is good to be responsible about long term planning, but we must be careful about focusing excessively on such matters.
            In his insightful parable, Jesus speaks of someone who chased security for years.  This individual said to himself after accumulating a lot: “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”  Yet through this teaching Jesus gives this caricature a blunt reminder: “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” Indeed, I have never seen a U-Haul at a cemetery!
            The Church endorses the right to private property, and abundance of itself can be a great gift.  The focus we want to maintain is detachment from material possessions in order to be rich “…in what matters to God.” 
            A good way to discern how you are doing in this regard is to consider how much time you spend worrying about money, your home, your vehicle or other material matters.  Do you spend as much time in prayer or in building your relationship with God?
            May we be grateful for the many gifts God has given us, grow in detachment to material possessions and grow in richness in what matters to God.

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