18th Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 4, 2019
Aug 2, 2019
Today’s readings are a reminder of who we truly are and where our hearts should be. In today’s world where the dignity and the respect we owe to people are practically a function of their fame and the size of their purse, it is challenging to embrace the teaching that tells us that we have to count on someone else and to change the lenses through which we look at people.
All is vanity! Really! To be precise, the readings do not condemn those who have. They point to our call for true and humble spirit of stewardship. Once one understands that all that surrounds us is a gift from God, one will look at everything with gratitude and humility. Therefore, while we are embracing the gift from the Lord, we are meant to remember that we are on a journey, and that we have to always be prepared. Two things from Saint Paul make today’s readings even more understandable. First, he says that everything we have we have received it from God. Consequently, there is no reason for anyone to boast. It is a lesson of humility to will give us new lenses when we come to appreciate the world as a whole as gift from God. Secondly, he reminds us that we are not citizens of the world, but citizens of heaven. Because that is where the New Jerusalem will come from.
But what is in there for you and me today? Today’s readings prompt us to reflect on our stewardship habits. As we meditate upon the word of God, we can among other things ask the following questions: What are my shopping habits and stewardship commitment? What is my feeling whenever I walk in the Mall or a grocery store? Do I buy what I really need when I look back in my pantry or refrigerator? When I walk in a department store and select items from the shopping rack or shelves, do I look back into my wardrobe and see whether or not I really need what I am selecting? When I stand in front of cashier, do I ask the question about whether or not I am just spending to satisfy my possession desire or my ego? Whenever a look around me, in my home, in my garage, in my storage room, how much fulfilled do I feel? Do not I play my pride on what I possess or on how much successful I am in my life?
However, let us remember that stewardship is not only about managing possession. It is primarily a call to discipleship. It is a call to care for everything that God has given us, starting with mother earth, as Pope Francis points out in his Apostolic Letter, Laudate Si, to the poor and even our own body. So many crisis in today’s world are also proof of how poorly we take care of our body on the basis of what we call freedom: from the opioid crisis to the sex revolution, one can see but the expression of poor spirit of stewardship. Therefore, we are called to remember that everything should point to the Source of True Happiness, God. We are meant to live the experience of the “Passover” and always be prepared. The food from heaven the Lord is inviting us to partake as pilgrims strengthens us on our journey to Him. This makes us focus not on what we possess, the feeling of an illusory fulfillment here on earth but to long for eternal felicity with the Lord.
As we strive to respond to the call to a true spirit of stewardship that makes us co-operators with God in the work of bettering the world, let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.