CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 July 2019

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Born to give not to store

An image that comes to mind is being God’s hands, eyes, feet and heart. Consequently, as Christians, we have been given an example of life by Jesus to help us understand how to live for others and not ourselves.

As the hands, eyes, feet and heart of God for others, our lives must reflect the generosity of God. We are challenged to live our lives in harmony with one another, whether as nations, families, communities or as individuals.

In today’s gospel, Jesus doesn’t put down the rich man just because he is rich, but more because of his greed. Having a great abundance, the man’s thoughts turn inwards.

There is no thought of sharing the bumper harvest with others, his thoughts are only for himself and how, with this wealth, he will be able to sit back and relax.

We too, whether materially rich or poor, can think more about our future happiness, wealth and easy life than what we can do to help make others’ lives easier.

Nations too, in this modern era when some have more than enough to overcome people’s hardships, find it difficult to share their riches. Nations attack other nations to shore up sources such as oil or minerals, and having won these riches, maintain a monopoly, which leaves others powerless to provide for the needs of their people, who maybe starving or lacking the basic needs for self dignity.

The readings in today’s Mass challenge us, as individuals, as Church and as nation, to reflect on what this means in the light of God’s kingdom. In what ways are we generous, rather than storing up the world’s resources?

We have to come to the understanding that God has given us the opportunity to live well, God does provide for all our needs, but for everyone’s needs, not just the richest, the strongest, the most handsome or beautiful.

One family bought a goat. Not for themselves, but for a programme that passes on the goat to a family in need. It could make the difference between life and death for that family, although it lessened the wealth of their own family.

When they told their story, people tended to laugh, but on hearing the whole story responded in a different way. It is also a witness to others.

So let us all take note of what the three readings are meant to help us to come to understand.

 

“The goods of the earth are both good and essential for survival and advancement. However, they do not satisfy the deepest longings of the human spirit. They provide us with pleasure and challenge, but they cannot shield us from the transitoriness of life itself… They are ultimately worthless, life itself is the far greater good; goods only enhance life” (Dianne Bergant).