The Giving Paradox
the parable of the rich fool
This weekend's Gospel passage is all about storing up treasure.
What is your treasure? What, in life, will make you happy? What are you investing your life - your time, energy, and attention - in?
More: What goal, when you get closer to achieving it, makes you feel more safe or secure? What, when you are in danger of losing it, makes you unreasonably agitated, angry, or afraid?
That's your treasure.
Jesus presses home the point: "One’s life does not consist of possessions." Blunt. True.
But then what does your life consist of? What does it mean to become "rich in what matters to God," as Jesus later instructs the crowd?
To begin, if we want to become rich in what matters to God, then we should expect to have to invest time, energy, and attention in what matters to God (and not to the counterfeit treasure we otherwise pursue).
To do this, we have to give ourselves over to God and his purposes. His plan (not mine) is perfect, and his plan for my life (not mine) is the centerpiece of my identity and my life's purpose. It is mine, simply, to trust and follow Jesus. When I do - living, by his power, the love he makes flesh and the life he makes possible for us - then I find myself rich beyond my wildest imagining.
When we live not for ourselves but for God and his purposes, we find ourselves fulfilled. When we give ourselves away - loving God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourself - we gain everything.
δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ
PS The quote, "He who wants anything other than Christ, does not know what he wants," is attributed to Saint Philip Neri. Can there be any doubt as to what his treasure is?
Preparing for Mass?
Check out this weekend's readings:
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time