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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 31, 2016


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          For those who listened to the now Bishop Robert Barron’s series on Catholicism, the second DVD on the “Teachings of Christ,” he highlighted the four roots of sin – power, pride, pleasure and love of money.  “Thus it will be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”  That was the point of today’s Gospel parable. 


          Unfortunately, we live in a capitalistic and materialistic culture that puts money and the need to have material possessions ahead of God.  For most of our American Community it may be how we give so much pride to our financial portfolio while not caring at all about what matters to God.  It is almost 100% true that when we get a call from an unreasonable parishioner, we have absolutely no record of any sort of stewardship.  For example, Paula received a call from a woman demanding an appointment with me before my vacation.  Paula offered her six different times; none of them sufficed, and she rudely hung up on Paula.  Within the last week or so, she called back, demanded a morning appointment, and explained that at her parish in Pennsylvania, the priests were available 24/7, 365 to meet with parishioners.  I wish that Paula had asked her how many priests were in her parish and how many households.  Paula explained to her that I am in meetings sometimes until midnight, and being alone without help some weekends and having six or seven Masses, the earliest appointments we make are 11 or 10 a.m.  We checked her giving record, and it was like $5 in the past 6 months.  My point is, so many people treat church like a consumer, not realizing that they have a responsibility to store up for themselves what matters to God. 


          The greatest things in life aren’t things, they are people, relationships, faith and loving and serving our God as faithful disciples of His son Jesus Christ.  Growing rich in the sight of God means doing God’s will – being good stewards of his gifts of time, talent and treasure.  At the end of the Precepts of the Catholic Church in the Catechism, it states, to support the work of the church financially according to one’s ability.  Growing rich in the sight of God also means putting into practice that which we receive from God – mercy, self-less love, forgiveness, acts of generosity and kindness.  And when we share that wealth, we receive more of it.  The implication of the Gospel is clear, Not storing up treasure that really matters to God has eternal consequences.  So to come to Mass only to punch your card isn’t going to cut it to get you to heaven!