18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Homily

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:21-23
Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Luke 12:13-21
August 4, 2013

Qoheleth speaks of vanity and putting too much effort into building up earthly things?  What is the point?

A person asks Jesus for help with handling the family inheritance.  Jesus isn’t interested in such earthly matters.

The rich man enjoys a wonderful harvest, so large he doesn’t have room to store it all.  Yet, it still wants to keep it all for himself.  Jesus never begrudges him for store up some.  That is what you needed to do.  The harvest comes but once a year.  We need to store enough for the season.

This man received a harvest greater than what is enough.  We are called to share our abundance with other people but apparently the thought never crossed this man’s mind.

He might say that he’s saving it for a rainy day.  That’s what we might keep “enough” for but presumably the man’s barns were already big enough for “enough.”

Even if he is truly just keeping his abundance for a rainy day, he is thinking only of himself and earthly things.

That’s not following Jesus.

Paul speaks of how we have died with Christ.  In dying with Christ in Baptism, we are called to realize that the things of this earthly word are not where our priorities should lie.  We are to “seek what is above”, meaning godly things.

We need to change from the ‘old self’ to the ‘new self’ in Christ.  That’s means thinking about more than just ourselves.

It means looking at the world as God sees it.  We can be great at compartmentalizing our lives.  We think we must keep our work, family, and faith all separate but our faith is meant not to be one part of our lives but rather part of everything we do.

For instance, does our faith become part of our decision making process?  Let me offer an example of what might seem to have nothing to do with faith but can.

Probably most people here either own a car now or have in the past.  What thoughts entered your mind when you were picking the car out?

Maybe how many passengers it can carry.  How about whether to get a 2 door or 4 door with the children?  Maybe you carry a lot of building materials and need cargo space?  Maybe you need something a handicap person can get in and out of.

These are all important things to think about when buying a car.  We buy a car to serve a purpose so we need to make sure it will serve the purpose.

But what are some other reasons we might pick a car?  Do we pick a car with a big engine to impress people?  Do we buy a luxury car to impress people?  Do we buy a big truck to look down on people?  Viewed from a faith perspective, none of these are good reasons.  In fact, they are sins of pride and maybe gluttony.

The “pride” would, of course, be in trying in impress people.  Gluttony could be involved in buying more of a car than we need, using too many materials or using too much gas.

Our faith is to be part of our decisions.  We need to make our faith part of our whole lives, defining who we are.  It’s something we must all do but we do it best when we start young with our children.  I’ll throw in a plug here for our parish school, where faith is taught right in the classroom alongside the academic subjects of math, science, English, and social studies.

So how well do you do with integrating faith into your whole life?  This doesn’t necessarily mean, for example, talking explicitly about our faith at work but it does mean making our faith part of our own decisions at work.

So again, how are doing at living out our faith?



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