Homily – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Do you still remember the day when we could not find any tissue paper at the market?  

The culture we live in demands that we constantly seek more of everything.  It does not tell us that we already have enough.

We know quite a lot about the social and economic situation that Jesus saw around him in Galilee.  While wealth was growing around Tiberias; hunger and misery were widespread in the villages.  Farmers ended up without land and the land owners built even bigger silos.  In a short story reported by St Luke, Jesus reveals what he thinks of such a situation that is so opposed to the world we are in.  This parable is not only to denounce the abuses committed by the land owners, but to unmask the foolishness of one’s thinking.

The gospel shows even more forcefully the absolute foolishness of making material things our top priority.  Jesus refuses to arbitrate a family quarrel over a will.  He points out the folly of counting on wealth for security saying “for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”  In the end, everything that we own – ends up owning us, everything that we try to control – ends up controlling us.  If we think that material things will make us happy, we will soon discover that half our time will be taken up trying to acquire things and the other half trying to protect them.

The wealth that Jesus is criticising in the gospel is a desire for things of this world that steals the mind of peace and the heart from recognising the greater needs of those around us.  The desire for wealth and things of this world becomes an obstacle that deprives us of authentic and enduring happiness. 

Jesus immediately reminds his disciples to be careful in searching for the material things of this world; rather we need to think and become rich in what matters to God.

First and most of all, being rich in the matters of God means having God living and belonging in our lives.  The person that is rich in the matter of God always has placed God first in one’s life.  

Rich in the matters of God begins with an attitude of heart that sees ourselves not as owners in the ultimate sense of anything, but rather as stewards of gifts that God has entrusted to us.

The person rich in the matters of God has a grateful heart in which we do appreciate every little thing in life.  The person rich in the matters of God is not overwhelmed with anxiety and worry, but trusts that the Lord who has provided in so many ways in the past, will not abandon us in the present moment or in future.

Being rich in the matters of God is our goal.  This will give us energy to deal with many difficult things in life; it will help us overcome challenges, and it will help us to see the positive side of things in the worst situations of life.  Let us work hard this weekend in becoming rich, rich in the matters of God.

By Fr Trac Nguyen




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