Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

(Romans 4:20-25; Luke 12:13-21)

The Church of the early late fifteenth and early sixteenth century suffered from having too much wealth.  The popes acted more like princes than prophets.  Monks and religious hardly witnessed the poverty of Jesus.  Sometimes, indeed, they had personal servants in their convents.  Saints like Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross understood the incongruity of such comfort with religious profession and set out to reform their Carmelite Order.  Of course, Teresa and John took their cues from Jesus in the gospel.

In today’s passage Jesus refuses to get involved in a family dispute over inheritance.  It is not that he wants to ignore real-life tensions.  Rather, he wants to testify to the need of trusting in God for salvation and not in material resources at human disposal.  He calls the farmer in the parable who wants to build silos to provide for his future a “fool” because he does not recognize the obvious: his future is more in the hands of God than in his own.

Certainly we are challenged to live our faith in Jesus.  We have material needs that must be cared for.  But we cannot allow ourselves to accrue things that will take our attention from God as our final hope.  It may take the majority of our lifetime, but we must learn to see material needs best cared from a perspective that emphasizes dependence on God.