MY daily reflection and prayer:
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear my friends,
Here is the Gospel for us today according to St. Luke 12: 13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he 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.” Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
“Vanity of vanities, all things are vanity!” (First Reading). “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” (Second Reading). “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (Gospel Reading).
DEAR sisters and brothers in Christ, while reading and meditating on these words, I remember this spiritual song in Indonesian language. “Ku tak membawa, apapun juga saatku datang ke dunia. Kutinggal semua, pada akhirnya saatku kembali ke Surga. Inilah yang kupunya, hati sebagai hamba, yang mau taat dan setia pada-Mu Bapa, ke mana pun kubawa hati yang menyembah dalam Roh dan Kebenaran sampai selamanya. Bagaimana ku membalas kasih-Mu, segala yang kupunya itu milik-Mu, itu milik-Mu!” (I brought nothing when came to this world. I leave everything, when finally back to heaven. And this is I have, only heart as a servant that wants to obey faithfully before you, Father. Wherever I bring my adoring heart in the Spirit and in the Truth now and forever. How can I respond your love, oh God, all I have is only Yours, yes, it is Yours!)
Thanks to Jonathan Prawira who has composed this good song. It helps me to better read and reflect on the word of God today.
What does today’s word of God mean? Of course, this is not a rejection of creation, wealth and world. But we have to remember that all will be passing away for our final destination is living for eternity in heaven.
Every time we read the Bible, we must encounter Jesus Christ who always opens our eyes in a new perspective. He wants us to see all things according to his will for the sake of our eternal life.
Also in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus wants us to consider everything in the light of eternity. He invites us to live with our eyes fixed on heaven, where we will see him face to Face in everlasting joy. He teaches us to live today in such a way that we’re ready for the eternal future of God.
So, he gives us the striking parable of a wealthy man who has a bountiful harvest. In Jesus’ time – and also for ours today – the land, produce, and livestock signified wealth. This man is so rich that he decides to tear down his barns and to build the larger ones for his vast wealth. Yet he forgets about eternity. He puts all his hope in his wealth and forgets that he can’t take it with him when he die. So Jesus says, “You will die tonight, and to whom will all this wealth belong?”
Sisters and brothers in Christ, with this word, Jesus Christ wants to remind us that our lives are brief, and that eternity is closer every day. So he says, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
What does Jesus really mean? Surely, of course, Jesus Christ never hated the rich man. He reminds us that life is brief, and that if we put all our trust and effort in the things of this world they will leave us empty. All of wordly will pass away, but our final destination is living for eternity in heaven.
Hence, what we read in the second reading is very important for us. St. Paul exhorts the Christians in Colossae to seek and to think what is above. Why? Because there Christ is seated at the right hand of God and we are the citizens of heaven. Our final destination is heaven. “Seek and think of what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” he tells them, “not of what is on earth.”
It is the same with what Jesus says, “Take care to guard against all greed.…” Greed arises when our heart loves material things “what is on earth”. Greed arises when we loves possessions in selfish.
What can we do for seeking and thinking of what is above? First, let’s realize that God has created material reality to help us fulfill our mission in this life. It is created for the sake of fulfilling our mission to save others and our soul.
Second, let’s generously share all we have instead of our egoism and selfishness. Never think that it’s mine, all mine, and no one else’s! We must have sensibility and capacity to be concerned for others., especially those who are suffered.
In the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist while adoring Jesus Christ, we learn to seek what is above. There we prepare our final destination that is living for eternity in heaven. What do we seek and think above all else? Do we use our treasure for the sake of others’ goodness rather than our egoism and selfishness?
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, guide us to love you above all things. Free our heart from all possessiveness and from coveting what belongs to another. Help us to make good use of the material blessings you give us that we may use them generously for your glory and for the good of others now and forever. Amen.