Readings for Monday October 19, 2009
Memorial of Saint John de Brebeuf and Saint Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and the companions, martyrs
First Reading: Romans 4:20-25
Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:69-70
Gospel: 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.” (Lk 12:13-15)
In this world most things have an opposite, something that makes one thing completely different than the other. You could say that opposites are on different ends of a spectrum. For example, if I say good, you would most likely say the opposite is bad. If I were to talk about a liberal, you would think of the opposite as a conservative. If we look at a compass and see North, we know the opposite direction is South, as well as for East and West. The theme of today's readings (as well as the memorial of Saints John De Brebeuf and Saint Isaac Jogues), pull in two opposite themes, greed and generosity.
Greed is a very dangerous vice that many people find themselves trapped in. In fact, I would even argue that it is because of greed that we find ourselves in the current economic crisis that we are dealing with in our country. Greed is a vice that makes us very selfish and self-centered; it is a vice that replaces God as our number one desire, and instead replaces Him with our own wants and our own wills. When we give in to greed, then we become like the fool in today's parable, we store up earthly treasures which do not do us any good in the long-term. Earthly treasures do not bring joy in our life, they do not make us feel fulfilled, and they certainly do not bring about peace in our lives. Sure earthly treasures may bring about temporary happiness, but it does not last. Like, we have said, greed is a very dangerous vice, and like any vice there is an opposite virtue of which we should be striving for. The opposite of greed of course would be generosity. The virtue of generosity makes us more like Christ, it makes us think more about others than our own wants and needs. It is through generosity that we give of ourselves and instead of storing up earthly treasures, we rather store up treasure in heaven.
Today we remember and celebrate the lives for two martyrs, who chose to generously give their lives for Christ. It is important for us to remember the lives of the martyrs, because they teach us an important lesson about our faith. We are meant to give our lives to Christ in whatever He calls us to; but if we are living a greedy and selfish life, then we will not be likely to live a life of generosity. Saint Paul tells us today that, "it was credited to him as righteousness ... it was also credited to us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (Rom 4:22-24) We have a choice in this life, we can choose to greedily store up earthly treasures such as the fool in today's gospel; or we can choose to love and live a life of generosity. One leads us to heaven, while the other doesn't; may we all choose wisely.
Father in heaven, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you are the giver and maker of all that is good, help us to live a life of virtue, being loving and generous to all those who you put in our lives. Lord, help form our hearts to you, that we may not have a heart that is set upon our own selfish desires, but rather on serving and giving our entire lives to you. Lord you are so good and merciful to us, help us to the lights in this world that we are called to be. We pray for all of our youth and families. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.