Sunday, July 10, 2016

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year C - 2016

Many of us go through life asking questions like:
What do I need to do to be successful?
What do I need to do to be happy?
What should I do to be healthy ?

We ask ourselves over and over again..
What do I need to do to get ahead of the pack and stay there?
How much money do I need for my kids to go to college ?
How much money do I need so that I can retire comfortably ?

These are all valid questions and frankly many of us live with them day in and day out.
But...all of these questions are about our life here on earth,
which we need to remember  is so very short and fragile.

Every week before the start of Mass we read the names of people who have passed away and we have to wonder as they knocked on heaven’s door if they had wished they had spent more time worrying about eternal life.

Today’s gospel asks us, it is wise to spend so much energy only thinking about the here and now and not spend time thinking about forever?

Today’s Gospel and this question reminds us so poignantly  to raise our eyes and our thoughts and our worries beyond  the normal everyday challenges of this life.

There was a little old lady in my very first parish in a very poor violent neighborhood of Rome.  She had all kinds of challenges, she was desperately poor.

One day when I saw her she was so happy I would say she was ecstatic because a distant family member was coming to visit her.

People rarely came to our neighborhood because it was so violent and they were afraid.

If it wasn’t for the church the little lady would have been terribly alone.

She didn’t have money for any special food so she spent the whole day in a park picking mushrooms.

When  I passed her walking home she was so excited because she found some great mushrooms and she would be able to put them in the pasta she was going to serve her guests.

The next day when I saw her I asked how her visit went and how the pasta was.
For the briefest of brief moments she looked sad and then she said.
I put the mushrooms on my porch to dry and someone stole them
but then she quickly added but Father when you think about eternity what difference do those mushrooms make?

The Scholar’s said the way to heaven was
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

So the next time we find ourselves worrying about
What this person or that person said,
or how much money we have,
or what color we have to paint the living room,
or whatever...

Let us ask ourselves
When you think about eternity what difference does this really make.

And if we really want to live in God’s Kingdom
Let us occupy ourselves with things that really matter.

Let us Love God,
And Love our neighbor especially those in need whoever they may be.

That’s  what the samaritan did in the Gospel and that’s what we have to do.


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