Reflection for Saturday, November 8, 2003: 31st week in Ordinary Time.
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"No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. And he said to them, "You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts"-Luke 16:9-15|| Jesus often spoke about the burden of riches and how it keeps us from devoting our lives to God. His messages are always simple and clear, as they are in today's Gospel. We cannot accumulate wealth without it interfering with our relationship to our God who has made all that we have possible, no matter how much or how little. The problem comes in knowing what it is that we must do in order to be among those who will "inherit the kingdom of God." Is it like the story of the young, rich man who asks Jesus what he must do to have eternal life and is told to give away all of his wealth to the poor?|We live in a world in which we are made more aware of the disparity that exists within it with each news story. The very fact that we sit here looking at a screen reading this reflection separates us from most of the world who cannot do so. We try very hard each day to be caring for those around us but our efforts, no matter how grand, seem to be insignificant because there is always so much more to do. Guilt can overwhelm us.| I find it hard to believe God ever expected us to suffer as a way to salvation, though many ultimately do. He loved us too much. He has given us an amazingly bountiful and renewable world so that we might insure that everyone has what they need to live a good life. Unfortunately, there is no bell within us that rings and says, "Okay, enough, you have plenty; let someone else have the rest." The more we have, the more we want and God knows that ultimately this stops us from loving Him fully. We can't. We are too distracted.|The prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola, known as the Suscipe, has a few lines that I find helpful. "All that I am and all that I possess You have given me: I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more." St. Ignatius understood that whatever we have in this life is on loan and can be taken away in the time of a single breath. We must work to understand that too. The day will come when we leave behind everything we have to those who follow us. Wouldn't all of us want that to be memories of someone who was loved rather than the things that we have bought?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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