(A biblical reflection on the 19th ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR C], 7 August 2016)
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-48 (Luke 12:35-40)
First Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalms: Psalm 33:1.12,18-19.20.22; Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2.8-19 (Heb 11:1-2,8-19)
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
“Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the house-holder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Peter said, “Lord, are You telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servants says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:32-48)
Intimate communion with the Creator of the universe – This is the profound joy that we can look forward to when Jesus comes again. And, it is a joy we can begin to experience right here and now. Communion with God is meant to be our inexhaustible treasure, and Jesus wants our lives to be filled with this measure rather than with worries about earthly riches (Luke 12:33-34).
Jesus’ words to His disciples make it clear that if we store up for ourselves heavenly treasures, we will never be disappointed. Unlike earthly possessions, the riches of life with God can neither be stolen nor destroyed. Quite the contrary. They can only grow and deepen as we give more and more of our hearts to Jesus.
How do we store up the treasures of God’s Kingdom? By daily surrendering our lives to the Lord in prayer, reading His word, and receiving the sacraments. All of these are means of cooperating with the riches of God’s grace. Jesus also taught that using our earthly resources for the good of others is a very important way that we can shift our hearts’ focus from life in this world to the promise of life in the Kingdom of God (Luke 12:42-46).
My dear Sisters and Brothers, God Himself wants to serve us! Can we give Him the chance to show us how deeply He cherishes us? He wants to do so much for us, yet our lack of faith keeps us from receiving His blessing.
Through repentance, as we allow God to wash us clean, we can receive the treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us, then, be doers of the word of God, not just hearers (James 1:22). Let us draw close to Jesus at Mass and ask His Spirit to guide us and fill us with His treasures this week.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You promise immense blessings for Your people. Thank You for offering us to share Your life, Your Kingdom, with us. What could be a greater treasure? Help us let go of everything that keeps us from You. May we always be open to receive Your good gifts. Amen.