Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sell What You Have

Sell What You Have

August 20, 2012
Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Son of man, by a sudden blow I am taking away from you the delight of your eyes, but do not mourn or weep or shed any tears.  Groan in silence, make no lament for the dead, bind on your turban, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard, and do not eat the customary bread.  That evening my wife died, and the next morning I did as I had been commanded.  Ezekiel 24:16-18

Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me."  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
  Matthew 19:21-22


Take from me, Father, all that keeps me from you.  Give to me, Jesus, all that leads me to you.  Set me free, Holy Spirit, that I might live my life for you.


In the Sunday Gospel, Jesus told us that we had to remain in him and He would remain with us. That bond is forged in the Eucharist.  Today, our readings outline what we have to do in return for the gift of the Eucharist -- obedience to the commandments.
Just as Jesus took our relationship with Him to a higher level through his sacrificial offering of his own body and blood, he asks us to take our obedience to a higher level.  Jesus asks us to go beyond the ten commandments Moses delivered from on high. 
In order to follow Jesus, we cannot be distracted by or burdened in our journey with material possessions. Therefore, he instructs us to give away all that ties us to "living in a material world."
If we don't accept voluntary poverty, we face the real possibility of a future like Ezekiel when that which gives us delight will be taken from us if we do not give it up in pursuit of the Lord and the Kingdom.


The calls and postcards come in weekly.  Purple Heart.  Amvets.  The National Children's Center.  They are all looking for the "jetsam" of suburban life that we can toss overboard and they can sell in a thrift shop for money to deliver their vital programs. 
As the summer winds down, do through your closets, dressers and basement for items that you have not used in the past year.  Clean them up and give away these possessions to make your journey with the Lord lighter.
Make a habit of doing this each month. 

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