“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
Reflections on the readings for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 31, 2022): ECC 1:2;2:21-23; PS 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14,17; COL 3:1-5,9-11; LK 12:13-21
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Only in union with Him can we keep trials and turmoil from entrapping us in pain and anxiety. There are other days when the daily-ness of routine can overwhelm us. Even with the best intentions we still struggle to be decent, kind, generous people.
The readings this Sunday remind us how fleeting are the things of this world. More than that, only by seeking what is God’s -- what is divine and eternal -- can we attain true happiness. By ourselves we tend to focus on our desires, our appetites, our everything. But if the Christian life into which we have been baptized is the true core and meaning of our life, we will better see our own lives, the lives of others, and, above all, God Himself, with His clear vision. “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. … Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another since you have taken off the old self. … Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:2-3,5,9,11).
It can be hard to concentrate on what is above. On some days and in some situations, it feels outright impossible. But that is exactly when we need to pause and ask God to help us. Only in union with Him can we keep trials and turmoil from entrapping us in pain and anxiety. There are other days when the daily-ness of routine can overwhelm us. Even with the best intentions we still struggle to be decent, kind, generous people. We may want to care about the welfare of others as we try to honor and serve God, yet we probably stumble more often than we like to admit. If we understand that the life of each Christian is hidden with Christ, then we can make a decision to stop giving in to anything that leads us toward pride and selfishness. While Jesus always sees us far beyond our failings that does not mean that they have no consequences. When we choose the ways of the world, we demonstrate our attachment to the here and now. This turns us away from God’s mercy in time because we do not grasp the importance of desiring His company for eternity. Our Lord loves each of us as the precious and unique individuals that we are. That is how we must love ourselves. That is how we must love others. Let us trust in Him; and let us allow His love alone to guide us from our earthly home into our heavenly one.