Two weeks ago, we heard Christ exhort Martha to be attentive to what truly is necessary, that is, to welcome the presence of Christ and not be taken by worries and anxiousness in all the things that she does. Last week, Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s prayer and to encourage them to have the boldness to ask, seek and knock, for the Lord will surely give us what we ask for, most especially, the gift of the Holy Spirit, if we ask for it. Today, following the teachings of Christ from the two past Sundays, Jesus tells us what the most important thing in our life is.
Someone from the crowd presents to Jesus a problem, that of the inheritance. This person wanted Jesus to be the middle man: he asks Christ to tell his brothers to share the inheritance. This problem isn’t a new thing. Maybe, a lot of us have also encountered this same problem. The question of inheritance poses big problems especially for families. It causes a lot of divisions among families and unfortunately, it breaks the familial bonds: siblings no longer speaking with siblings, or some others even taking some family members to court. Jesus takes this opportunity, after responding to the man, to teach the crowds of what truly is necessary in life: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Jesus then tells them a parable of a man storing up treasures for himself, thinking that having sorted a lot of things for the time that lies ahead of him, he can just enjoy life: rest, eat, drink, and be merry!
Sometimes, we don’t realise that in life, we tend to store up treasures for ourselves. These may not necessarily be material treasures. These may be things that we hold on to so much but, in fact, are not necessary for our life in God. In the first reading, Qoheleth says: “Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” Do I value my relationship with God enough? How much time do I give to my family? Do I spend time in prayer? Do I help those in need?
Jesus ends his parable by saying: “Thus it will be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.” Saint Paul tells us in the second reading too that we are to “think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” We can achieve more than what we think we can. We belong to God and He has the first place in our heart, in our lives. One thing is necessary, to love God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul; and to love our neighbour. Let us not give in to laziness, thinking that we can be self-sufficient. God is attentive to our needs, not only the material ones, but also the spiritual ones, that is why He gives us His Holy Spirit who enables us to live a “life that is hidden with Christ in God,” as Saint Paul tells us.
Let us beg the Holy Spirit to help us to see the places in our life where we need to be more detached from to allow God to have the first place in our heart!
PS. I entrust myself to your prayers as I continue my formation in France. I give thanks to the Lord for the time that He has allowed me to spend here at St Teresa’s Parish alongside my brothers. I leave New Zealand with a heart that is so full of love. I pray for you all!