Sunday, October 18, 2015

What Matters

Abraham did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what God had promised he was also able to do.  Romans 4:20-21

“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”  Luke 12:15

…This is what we are about.  We plant the seeds that one day will grow.  We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest…
(From a prayer by Bishop Ken Untener)

What matters to God? 

Let’s look to the first reading for a clue.  Any doubts Abraham might have had about what God asked of him were resolved in his commitment to God’s promise.  Abraham and Sarah are marked for our study to emulate their faith.  Rather than react as would be expected to Sarah’s infertility until a very advanced age or the command to sacrifice their long-awaited son, they trusted in what God wanted, not what they wanted nor what society said that they should do or say.

Our second clue comes as Jesus explains his comments about the parable of the rich fool.  Building barns in which to store his harvest would not seem foolish to his neighbors.  Yet amassing great wealth when you will not live to use it for the good of society is what is foolish.  “Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Luke 12:21)

What matters to God is not what matters to us unless we – like Abraham and Sarah – place our trust in God.  Such guidance builds upon the lessons of the Sunday Good News when James and John asked to sit at Jesus’ left and right side in heaven.  Jesus stressed that all he could give them was the cup and baptism, not power or status. 

On any given Sunday, many red-blooded American men are spending the afternoon watching the local professional football team play on the gridiron…or having a tailgate party before the game…or having friends over to watch those games on TV (the bigger the screen the better).  But for the Men of the 131st Cursillo that concluded at San Damiano Retreat House yesterday, it was spent getting to know themselves better, getting to know Jesus better and getting to know what to do in the community.

Today is the start of the first and only Fourth Day of the rest of their lives.  Welcome these new Cursillistas back into your parish, into your group reunion, and into the ways you dedicate your life to piety, study and action. Help them to keep on doing what they learned on this weekend and throughout life.

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