Ephesians 2:1-10; Psalm 100:1-5;Luke 12:13-21
Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest
One’s life does not consist of possessions. (Luke 12:15)
Jesus has just spoken at length to a large crowd about the riches that await those who believe in him, who know that they are beloved of the Father, and who entrust themselves to the care of the Holy Spirit. But then, someone interrupts. “Tell my brother to share with me,” he demands. It’s a wonder Jesus didn’t sigh in frustration! Aside from its rudeness, the interruption portrays the kind of distractions that Jesus knew would only keep people impoverished.
Jesus taught that it is not lack of material possessions that makes us poor. Rather, preoccupation with what and how much we have—and how to get more of it—impoverishes us. Why? Because it keeps us distracted from the riches God wants to give us. It shifts our thoughts and efforts from serving our Creator and makes us slaves to created things instead. Jesus doesn’t say material possessions are bad or to be despised. He is clear, however, that “one’s life does not consist of possessions” (Luke 12:15).
What are the things that matter to God? First, that we would know his love for us personally. He created us out of love, and he loves us always. Second, that we matter to him—so much so that we can trust him always to take care of us. Third, that Jesus died and rose so that we could experience God’s transforming grace in our lives. And finally, that confident in his love for us, we would dedicate ourselves to loving and serving the people around us, especially those in need.
These are the riches we can steep ourselves in no matter how materially rich or poor we are. Every prayer time, we can tell God how much we love him. Better still, we can hear him tell us how much he loves us! Every word of Scripture can become a treasure, illustrating that love and showing us how to deepen our experience of it. Reading the lives of the saints or spiritual books, attending daily Mass—through all these ways, we can store up for ourselves all the things that matter.
“Father, teach me how to store up your heavenly riches. I trust that you will provide for me.”~WAU