May the Peace Christ Reign in our hearts,
Once upon a time I asked a young man what he wanted most in life, and how he would know if he had made it.
He responded immediately without hesitation by saying “ I want the 4 P’s “
When he saw the confused look on my face he elaborated,
Then he said “When I have the 4 P’s I will know that I made it.
That’s is success for me. “
I said, “you sure had that list on the tip of your tongue” and he told me “I think about it alot.”
Prosperity and Property involved physical assets
Power and Prestige are more concerned about how people saw him.
I was saddened because he never mentioned love or companionship or caring for others at all.
For this young man success was all about having more..and sadly success was all about him.
We all know that power and prosperity, property and prestige don’t make a person happy.
Just look around... at people like Michael Jackson, and Lindsay Lohan, in fact it’s hard to find someone in the entertainment world that is happy and lives a fulfilling life
Even if they have an abundance of property, power, prestige and prosperity often they still have lives that resemble a train wreck.
Today’s Gospel shows us that the Apostles were not immune to the glitter or temptation of the 4 p’s
When Jesus was sharing with them his future passion and death. Instead of listening and trying to comfort him they were arguing about who had the greatest prestige.
Jesus knew he had to make them understand once more that happiness was not about how much property they had,
or how much money they had,
or what people thought of them
or how much influence they had over others.
You know today we treasure Children, but this was not always the case.
During the time of Jesus Children were insignificant.
A father could simply refuse to accept a child and it would be put outside to die in neglect.
Children were the poorest of the poor with no rights and with no means to repay any kindness.
So Jesus took a little child and told His Apostles success is welcoming and caring for them he was saying success is welcoming and caring for someone who can never pay you back.
For a follower of Christ…
Success is giving without expecting anything in return.
Success is a life poured out in loving service.
Success is letting go rather than holding on.
Success is caring about others more than you care about yourself.
I never heard what happened to that kid but I will always remember his determination to have his property, power, prestige and prosperity.
Sadly some people never get it.
I once visited a lonely old lady.
She lived in a huge house and every time we spoke she told me that someone was after her money.
The people that were living in her home and caring for her kept changing because after awhile she would convince herself that they were after her money and fire them.
She had no contact with her family.
You know the story she was sure that they wanted her money.
I went to see her once a month and listened to her and tried to help her understand the people actually cared about her. Sometimes I was this close to getting through to her
But she never really believed me and could not accept that they were not just after her money.
Then one day her helper called and said you don’t have to come tomorrow father.
I immediately asked if she was OK or if she had take ill.
The helper responded candidly Father. She thinks you are after her money.
So much for the four p’s
What do we think about success ?
And Jesus said….
"If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."
Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
"Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me."