Mass Reading & Meditation for August 4, 2013
Meditation: Luke 12:13-21
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“One’s life does not consist of possessions. (Luke 12:15)”
The rich fool learns to his dismay that there is more to life than what he has, or what he plans to do (build a barn, have a party). God demands a reckoning for the kind of person he has become, not for the things he has amassed.
Early in our Christian journey, we learn to look beyond possessions. We realize God is not impressed with the wealth we accumulate or the house we occupy. We try to root out greed and practice contentment. We make a special effort at being thankful for God’s good gifts.
But despite all this, we can still be tempted to think that what really matters is what we do. We make sure to attend church regularly, to obey the Ten Commandments, to watch our language, and to give to charities. Of course, we should do all of these, but we run the risk of turning them into ends in themselves. We run the risk of proving ourselves on the basis of what we are able to do.
The heart of being a Christian is who we are, not what we have or what we do. We become precious and valuable to God the moment we are conceived, and we remain his beloved even in our old age, when we are once more totally dependent on other people.
This kind of logic—the logic of divine love—is the basis of the Church’s teachings on life issues. In a society that determines a person’s value based on what he or she can produce, we proclaim that value comes from love, not productivity. In a world that looks upon the elderly, the disabled, and the unwanted as problems to be solved, we proclaim them as gifts to be treasured and protected.
The rich fool in today’s parable made a tragic miscalculation. May we, through our words and through our witness, help turn the tide for other people. May we create a world where every life is valued!
“Father, thank you your unconditional love. Let everything I do express that love.”
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:21-23 Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17 Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11