This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Monday of the Twenty-Ninth Week In Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to the crowd, “…Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions…”
St. Teresa of Avila would often pray, “Lord, contradict me.”
When I told my extended family I wanted to become a priest, an aunt of mine questioned the wisdom of my decision. So I asked her what she considered to be important in life. In a very high pitch voice, she screamed out one word: “MONEY!”
“Without money you are worth nothing. You’re opinion is worth nothing. Without money people will step all over you. They will take advantage of you. Money earns respect, especially in America!”
Now, I fully understood what she was trying to tell me. Unfortunately, she knew not what she was saying.
Just today I read Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old girl from Pakistan, who was shot in the head by the Taliban last October for advocating education for girls, recently spoke at the World Bank in Washington. I also read that faculty members at George Washington University are creating curriculum tools to accompany her book, “I Am Malala.” Back in September of this year she was awarded Harvard University’s prestigious humanitarian of the year award. And just this past week, Malala’s name was floating around as a possible winner of Nobel’s Peace prize.
Money, like the military, is not a bad thing. But if it is used incorrectly, then can be very damaging to oneself and to others.
Hence, money, like guts and/or humility, must always be considered a means to a happy end. The happy end being heaven. If not, then it becomes a poison to life and a spoiler of happiness.
Today’s parable makes this crystal clear. A rich man had a very successful harvest… Now instead of sharing it with his children or neighbors, he decided to build a larger barn and store it all for himself. Little did he know his life would be taken from him that very night.
Is my life tied to my wealth and/or health? Do I consider my wealth and/or health the source of my security and peace?
If so, then “Lord, contradict me.”
Peace Through Faith. We often pray for peace. And yet peace continues to eludes us. We lack it both in our personal lives and as a nation. Maybe the reason for it is because peace is tied to faith, a thing we have very little of these days.
St. Paul tells us: “Abraham did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what God had promised he was also able to do” (Rom 4:20).
Lord, increase my faith so I may see the impossible and do the unbelievable!
Maybe we are praying for the wrong things. We pray for health because we think it will bring us peace of mind. But maybe we should pray that His Will be done so that it brings about an increase in faith, hope and love. We pray for money, thinking it will bring us closer to security. But maybe we should pray for faith and humility so that it brings us closer to all humanity. Lord, contradict us.
And come to think about it, maybe we are going about it the wrong way as well. We pray for an end to world hunger, but work hard at promoting abortion. We pray for an end to war, but do not take the time to understand other people’s cultures and traditions. We pray for peace, but we are constantly ordering drone attacks.
Lord, contradict us.
The Good News is He is…and will. For some of us, it is happening right now. For others, it is just a matter of time.
The bad news is…What are you waiting for? Why are you hesitant? What are you not convinced of, as yet?
We need to think as God thinks, not as humans. Start now. Don’t wait for the Lord to do it for you. Do it now. We need to be more like the Son of God, not the Son of Adam. (42)