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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, Aug. 1, 2010

By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service

August 1, Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C Readings:
1) Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
2) Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21


There’s plenty in the press these days about the world’s financial wizards blithely making more and more millions of dollars for themselves without regard to the current economic crisis. It’s impossible not to ask the question: How much does one person need? Maybe these wizards plow their gains back into the economy, though. Nope. Their modus operandi is to invest the gain … to make yet more millions.

This weekend’s Gospel cautions against a life concentrated on storing up riches in order to rest, eat, drink and be merry. In explaining his parable of the rich man, Jesus poses this question, in effect: What happens when you’ve saved up all this wealth but die with nothing that matters to God?

His warning is for more than the mega-rich financial wizards. The drive, or at least the temptation, to store up wealth, prestige or simply “disposable income” bubbles up in all of us in some form. For those who find some success at it, it can become difficult to get off the wealth-building track and back on to a matters-to-God track.

Our friend Fred was a good man. An Ivy League grad, he was a talented, creative professional who rose to the top levels of his field. He became a division director of his firm and was highly regarded among his peers. His adult daughter followed right along in his footsteps. Fred was well-liked. He wasn’t selfish or greedy, but he was pursuing a path to success he’d been on since he entered college.

He’d served on the board of his professional organization for many years. A month before Fred was to assume the presidency of the group he e-mailed board members that he must step down because he couldn’t commit to the travel required of the position. Personal matters made it necessary for him to be close to home.

That December, his friends and colleagues received a photo Christmas card from him and his wife in their new home -- with eight young special-needs foster children. Everything they had once stored away for themselves had been brought out and redeemed for a new life dedicated to something that undoubtedly matters to God.

QUESTIONS:

If you take an inventory, what among the “wealth” you’ve stored up do you think would qualify as something that matters to God? What changes can you make in your lifestyle and pursuits to invest in God’s concerns?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED: “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth” (Colossians 3:2).

Copyright © 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS Word To Life column may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service.

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