Sunday, August 11, 2018

AUGUST 11, 2019

Have you ever thought about why we come to Mass or listen to it on the radio? One reason is to celebrate our faith by receiving the Eucharist either physically of spiritually. I was told once that all it takes to be a Christian is to believe in the Trinity and the Resurrection of Jesus.

Our readings today tell us that is not enough. Our faith is not sufficient if our belief is passive. Our faith needs to have an active component. The letter of James says, “What good is it to profess faith without practicing it?”

We heard today how Abraham had such faith in
God as to be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. His faith put his trust in God when he went off to find the promised land.

How do we exercise our faith? If we internalize our faith and try to discern what God wants us to be and do, we will believe that whatever we do will turn out as God intends.

St. Ignatius identifies a way in his Exercises where he says (paraphrasing) use only the things of this world that will draw one closer to God. Let all the others go.

Luke is telling us to provide for ourselves an inexhaustible treasure in heaven. Where your treasure lies, there will your heart be.

How do we implement this active faith, this belief and resolute trust in doing God’s will?

One way is to believer strongly enough to think and act outside our comfort zone should God direct us to an unfamiliar activity. Here again think of Abraham.

Another way is the concept of stewardship, use of time, talent and treasure. Some of us have an abundance of all three. Some of have more of one that another. All of us have something to share. Look at our lives here in Baltimore. We have a spread over all strata of economy. We have poor; we have wealthy; and we have in between. But we all have more than almost any other country in the world. We have enough good to drown out the bad if we let it. Regardless of how much we may have, we can always pray for one another. Some can share their wealth with others. Some can volunteer their time helping others. Some can share their talents in various fields of endeavor to help others. Notice we all can do something for others. This is the essence of Christian living, thinking more of others than ourselves. That is what Jesus means when he gives the parable of being ready when the master comes. When God calls us from this world, and we need to be constantly ready for that, will he find us sharing what we have with others?

Some may say that I have not enough for myself, how can I share? As I said, if physically we can do no more than pray, then pray. If we have some spare time after we have taken care of ourselves, then share it. If we have more than we need to sustain a reasonable life, share it.

The closing words of the reading of Luke’s Gospel should ring in our ears as we look upon what we have and how we live – “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” What are we doing with what we have?

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