August 4, 2013 / 18th Sunday / •• Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23 •• Psalm 90 •• Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11 •• + Luke 12:13-21
[__01] In our Gospel reading from Luke, chapter 12, someone approaches Jesus to ask about wealth and inheritance. He wants some protection, safeguard of his inheritance. If were to plan for the future, we would diversify, to protect our resources.
[__02] As a country, we have NATURAL resources in many different places and many different kinds.
As a families and individuals, we have assets in different institutions, in different types of investments. We try to manage our wealth.
“Wealth”, then, could be the property of Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon … manifest and spread in different places
“Wealth” could be our personal home and assets.
And, we want to diversify. As the saying goes, we try not to put all of our precious eggs in one carry-on or knapsack-basket.
[__03] Also, for airline travel leaving JFK or Newark, we are also told, “don’t check all of your valuables, all of your clothing. ‘Diversify’ … hold on to valued items lest they be
misplaced or delayed on the baggage carousel. Carry some of them on.”
[__04] In the Gospel, a man approaches Jesus. The man is concerned about what he is carrying, what he wants to hold on to. He is concerned about his material wealth.
But, our Lord is asking him, “in what ways are you wealthy?”
“In what ways are you and I wealthy?”
Are we spiritually wealthy?
And, could we be more diversified?
Could we take a different view of our assets, and of our faith, our confidence in God?
[__05-“PRAYER SECTION”] Our own faith, our own practice of the Catholic faith
invites us to take a long term view, a long time horizon.
This long term view applies to our experience of forgiveness, of reconciliation.
Forgiveness is for the long term.
This does not mean that we will forget the trespass or sin against us.
But, we are called to a long time horizon, in forgiveness and reconciliation.
[__05.01] Also, in a spiritual sense, we are called to persevere, to persist.
We ask God to help us to grow even after we have sinned.
"The Lord delayeth not his promise, as some imagine, but dealeth patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
This is the Good News of our wealth management
[__05.02-] We are also called to consider this principle of diversification when we consider à strengths, talents, and effectiveness.
That is, we are called to ask WHOSE strengths, whose talents, and whose effectiveness are
really at work in any of our projects, our needs?
Is it my own strength, my own doing?
We are called to trust in God’s grace …and this the Good News also our diversification and wealth management.
[__06-“ FASTING SECTION”]
Our practice of the Catholic faith also calls us to take a diversified view of sacrifice and of “fasting.”
Isn’t it true that the sacrifice of yesterday is not exactly the same as that of today?
Yesterday, the sacrifice might have been a down payment of time. Today, the sacrifice might be a down payment of time.
In these moments of sacrifice, we lose a little …or we may lose more than a little.
But, we are, as Jesus advises à growing rich in what matters to God.
And, in this sense, when we are fasting when we are sacrificing, we are uniting our losses to Christ on the Cross, to his suffering and death.
Certainly, we try to unite our gains to him, to give thanks to God for good things and to pray for material help for ourselves and our families.
Diversification also invites us to unite our losses to Christ.
This is part of the Good News of fasting , the Good News of our wealth management.
This diversification is a return on investment… the R.O.I…. which enables us to give charitably.
By almsgiving or charitable giving, I’m not referring to the donations or pledges we make according to the IRS or 501(c)3 code.
I am suggesting that there are contributions to our family life, our work life, our contributions to be punctual, to be cheerful… to be forgiving of the other’s faults.
In all of these things, we are growing a and are capitalized, we are invested…and we hope that we are rich in what matters to God.