Our Gospel for today is taken from Chapter 12 of St Luke, and it is of fundamental spiritual significance. So it behoves us to reflect upon it with care.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.” According to the Bible the most basic spiritual problem is fear. We are afraid, so we cling to our prerogatives and ourselves… But here we have the Son of God telling us not to be afraid. Why? “Because it has pleased the Father to give you the kingdom.” If this could sink into our souls our lives would be changed. Some people think that if they are sufficiently upright and good they might convince God who is otherwise indisposed to give them what they want. How many of us enter into just that calculating relationship with God? But that’s getting it precisely backwards. What if we really believed that God wants to give us his life, his love and that he delights in doing so. St John tells us “God is love.” His love comes first and everything else flows from that love. That’s the principal of grace. When we get it backwards fear is the result.
What Jesus says next follows on from this principal of grace: “…sell what you have and give alms.” Once we realise that life is entirely a gift and that we have received everything, all is a grace, we should stop playing the pathetic game of clinging to it.
Jesus says: “Make for yourselves purses that do not grow old, a treasure unfailing in heaven, where neither thief draws near or moth destroys.”
Everything in this world eventually fades away; even our body goes into dust. So don’t cling to anything in this world. Surrender your life to the rhythm of grace, and then you will find yourself linked up to the eternal source, and find inexhaustible treasure in heaven. The problem is that we live in precisely the opposite way.
It’s good to exercise your conscience at the end of the day or go back over the years of your life and see how much time is spent clinging and grasping and battling for
primacy. We convince ourselves that we have merited and deserve and earned a whole array of things. But the Gospel message is that we are owed nothing, everything is a gift. If you woke up thinking, what are my opportunities today to love, to make of my life a gift, your life would change in a beautiful way. The kingdom of God would already be yours and peace would flow into your heart from above…GRASP IT!
Fr Anthony Mary