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What is Most Important?

We need to ask ourselves what is most important. Lots of things have importance but what is most important? We need things. We need food, clothing, and shelter to feed our physical bodies. To have these things we need money. Does that make money the most important thing?

In today’s gospel for daily Mass we hear how the women who travelled with Jesus and the Twelve, “provided for them out of their resources.” The women provided for the earthly needs of Jesus out of their resources.

The way the exchange of goods works in our world, we need money. However, that does not mean money is the most important thing. Now, money itself is neither good or bad but if we let greed take over us, we let money replace God as the most important thing in our lives. Here, we hear the words of Paul to Timothy in the first reading, “For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.”

Just as much as individuals and families we need money, our parishes need money too. We need to pay attention to how we are doing financially. We can’t spend money we don’t have. However, our mission is not about the money. Our mission is to proclaim the gospel.

How do we know how we are doing at proclaiming the gospel? As we are working on our annual report right now, we look at other numbers. How is the attendance at Mass? How many people are receiving Sacraments? These are important numbers but we must remember it is not about the numbers. It is about the people.

How do we care for the people? We need to love our neighbor. We show our love through Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (for more on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy see my video presentation, The Journey to Jesus: Acts of Mercy). However, works of mercy are not all we are about. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus tells us that our completing works of mercy are part of how we will be judged. However, in last Sunday’s second reading, Paul tells us that we need faith and works. We do the works because we have faith. We do the works because in faith we know that God loves us and that in loving God, we also love our neighbor.

It is Jesus we must remain rooted in. As Paul says to Timothy in today’s first reading, we need to stick to “the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today’s gospel begins with the words, “Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.” We need to do good works but most of all we need to proclaim “the good news of the Kingdom of God.” Food, clothing, and shelter are important. Thus, money is important. However, the Code of Canon Law of our Catholic Church ends by reminding us that the supreme good is the salvation of souls (Canon 1752).

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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