Most Holy Trinity

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 31, 2022        

From the pastor’s desk

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time–  Year C–  Use what God has given you for his Church and others.

 

The wise-man of the Old Testament, ‘Qoheleth’ speaks about the passing nature of everything within

the created world. Everything is vanity or chase after the wind. He concludes that we should enjoy

each day as it comes and avoid earthly attachments. In the gospel, Jesus addresses the same problem

when someone asked him to tell his brother to share inheritance with him. In the case between these

two brothers over inheritance, Jesus did not act as judge. Instead, he uses it as a teaching moment. He

teaches us with the parable of the rich fool, in which a man blessed with abundance of harvest, responded

with much self-confidence. This rich fool congratulated himself, telling himself to be assured of the future,

while ignoring the family, neighbors and even God who blessed him with a rich harvest. In this process,

God told him: “you fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared,

to whom will they belong (Luke 12:20-21)?” Jesus goes on to say that thus will it be for the one who stores

up treasure for himself but not rich in what matters to God.

 

Many spiritual writers have based their teachings on this, Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) would speak of

detachment from things in order to attain union with God. St. John Chrysostom (347-407), preached against those who spent their time accumulating riches to the forgetfulness of God. He spoke against the rich that

their riches in death will testify against them. He says: ”when you have passed away, each passerby who

looks upon your great mansion will say, ‘how many tears did it take to build that mansion; how many

orphans were stripped; how many widows wronged; how many laborers deprived of their honest wages?’

Even death itself will not deliver you from your accusers (Sozomen, Church History).”

 

During his earthly ministry, Jesus tells us: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth

and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in

heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For

where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21).” Jesus would want us to use

our earthly possessions which are blessings from God to seek him and serve him in our neighbor. We

are blessed that we might serve as stewards of God’s many blessings. Jesus would tell us:”…seek first

the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).”

The best use of earthly riches is to use them in serving God in helping those in need. St. Paul speaks

about the law of Christ. He says: “help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the

law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).” In this way one lays for himself treasures in the Kingdom of God by

using God’s gifts and blessings to serve him in others. St. Paul tells us about the generosity of Jesus Christ

when  he says: “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though, he was rich, yet for

your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).” This

is the virtuous life that Christians are called to live in imitation of Christ. It is the right attitude one

should have when it comes to the use of earthly things. It can only be possible through baptismal

life. In baptism, we have risen to a new life in Christ. We no longer live by merely earthly standards.
Our lives must not be less than the standards of Christ himself, as our principles of conduct.

Rev. Fr. Michael Onyekwere, SDV, PhD

 

 

 

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