From the Pastor's Desk

How does my attachment to my possessions keep me from entering the kingdom of God? How might God assist me in making it possible?

Today’s readings remind us that we do not possess anything in our life that we refuse to surrender to the Lord. In reality these things often possess us, and we become the prisoners of our possessions. What we have really done is to give our "things” top priority in our lives. Thus, we violate the First Great Commandment, which demands that we give absolute and unconditional priority to God.

The first reading advises us to use the God-given virtue of prudence and to seek true wisdom in preference to vanishing realities like riches or political and social influence. Solomon chose Wisdom before everything else. But when he accepted Wisdom, he received everything else along with her. Since Jesus is Wisdom Incarnate, when we put following Jesus ahead of everything else we receive everything else along with Jesus.

The second reading warns us that we are accountable before God as to how we use our blessings and that the “living and effective word of God” must be our guide in evaluating the use of our blessings.

In today’s Gospel selection (Mark 10: 17-30), we find three sections: a narrative about Jesus’ encounter with a rich man, Jesus’ sayings about wealth as a possible obstacle to following him and Jesus’ promise of reward for those who share their material possessions with the needy. Jesus reminded the rich man of the commandments that deal with relationships with other people and challenged him to sell what he had and to give the money to the poor. Jesus shocked his disciples with this challenge to the Jewish belief that material wealth and prosperity were signs of God’s blessings. Instead, he declared that true religion consisted in one’s sharing his blessings with others rather than hoarding them and getting inordinately attached to them.

Life messages: 1) We need to accept the invitation to generous sharing. Jesus was so generous that he gave us his very self. Hence, there should be a desire to give in the heart of every Christian. God does not ask us to give up our riches, but he does ask us to use them wisely in His service. We must manage our possessions wisely, so that they do not gain control over our hearts. God gives us time, talents and riches that we may use them in the service of others.

2) “You are lacking one thing." We all have something in our lives that serves as a major obstacle to happiness and peace. It may be anger, holding grudges, alcohol, drugs, lust, apathy, lies, unfaithfulness, theft, or fraud. Let us invite God into our lives and into our efforts to face and remove that one obstacle to holiness. L/15

Part of the beauty of stewardship spirituality is its simplicity and practicality. It can be summed up in the brief phrase, “All I have is a gift from God and I must make a grateful return to Him for all He has given me.” In making this return, we consider three areas that cover that We are called to be so much more than rule-followers; we are called to be Christ followers. A stewardship way of life asks us to look at three simple, practical areas — Time, Talent, and Treasure. But it asks us to commit to them from the depths of our being. Only then can we truly be free to follow Christ. Only then do we obtain the countless riches of God’s wisdom and a path to eternal life. i.e primary aspects of daily life — Time, Talent, and Treasure.

Fr. Gus. MS, Pastor