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Our Gospel today from Saint Luke centers around the theme of possessions—both earthly and heavenly.  Twice Jesus gives some clear, focused advice: “One’s life does not consist of possessions.”  “Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”  Jesus is clearly speaking about how the material things of this world are to be properly used to enhance our own lives and the lives of others.

Perspective of Jesus.  A perusal of the New Testament reveals multiple passages where Jesus expresses his views.  “Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and termites destroy and thieves break in and steal.  But store up treasures for yourself in heaven….  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also….  You cannot be the slave of both God and money” (Mt 6:19-21, 24; cf. Lk 12:33-34).

To the rich young man who asked how he could possess eternal life, Jesus responded: “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then, come, follow me” (Mt 19:21).  Similarly, Jesus tells us: “When you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing” (Mt 6:3).  Admittedly, these are some of Jesus’ “hard statements”!

Additional Biblical Insights.  The Book of Ecclesiastes (5:9) notes: “He who loves money, never has money enough; he who loves wealth, never has enough profit.”  The Psalmist advises (62:10): “Put no trust in extortion, no empty hope in plunder; though riches may increase, keep your heart detached.”  Proverbs (23:4) asserts: “Do not weary yourself with getting rich.” 

Saint Paul writes to his beloved disciple Timothy: “As long as we have food and clothing, let us be content with that.  People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions….  The love of money is the root of all evils” (1Tim 6:8-10).

Deeper Reflection.  Carefully note that Jesus and the Bible are not asserting that money and material goods are evil.  We all need a variety of material goods (food, clothing, shelter) to live a dignified human life.  There is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to secure the physical well-being of your own self and your family; actually, it is demanded of us as responsible adults.  Our loving God requires it!

Contemporary Challenges.  Probably one of the most serious challenges facing many Christians today is “rampant consumerism.”   Pope Francis (Evangelli Gaudium 53) has warned against such consumerism; it creates “an economy of exclusion and inequality” among the poor and marginalized.  We have created a “throw-away culture” which continues to spread (cf. LS 34).  We all must name for ourselves some obstacles in our modern society and life-style that harm us personally and as a people—hampering our entry into the Kingdom of God.

James H. Kroeger, M.M.        

  

18TH Sunday in Ordinary Time

You have blessed me, Lord,

with life and love, faith and hope,

things the world and money

neither know nor can they buy.

May I be content, Jesus, with what

food, clothing and possessions I have.

Grant that these may never own

nor possess me but may I always

be ever mindful of and generous toward

those I meet who have less than I do.

Let me be as generous toward

the poor and less fortunate

as you, Lord God, have been toward me.

May I never be envious of those

who appear to have more than I

for I do not know what crosses or burdens

they bear in secret or what hardships

they endure or wounds they carry.

Lord, I come before you with open hands

that I might receive blessings from you

and through me you might bless others.

Help me Lord to use all I have and am

to advance your kingdom on earth

by lightening the burden of all I meet

that together we might walk toward

the fulfillment of your promises forever.

In your name I pray.

Amen.

By Fr. Joseph Veneroso. M.M.

   

   

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Lam M. Hua, Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop