Living the Gospel – August 11, 2019

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Today’s Gospel reading is relatively long although there is a shorter version which may be read at Mass.

The short version, the beginning three sentences implore us to seek everlasting treasure, that treasure that cannot be destroyed. One might say “heavenly treasure” vs “secular treasure” and wealth. This teaching has been covered very well by our reflection writers in the past few weeks.

Today, I’m thinking about “preparedness,” the second part of the reading. When I initially read the Gospel, I actually looked at the verse numbers to see if it was continuous (it is) because the beginning seemed so different from the rest. But I do think there is a connection and I think Jesus’ parable should have his listeners (and us, of course) open their eyes a little wider!

Christ in His teachings, wants us to listen, to think, maybe research (today’s listeners, anyway) and then learn more! Once we have learned (ie. taken to heart,) we are to put that learning into practice. Christ knows that like His apostles, we will not learn it all at once. Growth in His love and then learning to follow His way is a life-long journey. One does not reach that final destination until one finds that eternal treasure in heaven.

Christ is like the thief in the night—silent, stealthy and He can be quick. We must be ready! But our readiness, too, is a gradual process. True, we cannot know when He will call us to His Heavenly Kingdom, but are we prepared to welcome Him into our current life—to bring His kingdom to earth? Do we recognize HIM in one another? Do we celebrate the good things and are we there to support our brothers and sisters in times of sorrow or perhaps just in everyday life? Do we recognize Christ in nature—the glorious day, the fearsome storm? Do we recognize Him in our families, our friends, our faith? Christ is insidious! He can “sneak up” on us, but He is always there—we just need to recognize Him!

These are the gifts we’ve been given—we KNOW about Christ. We KNOW how He wants us to live! Do we thank Him and do we use those gifts to the best of our ability?

Just this past week, I heard someone on the radio say: “Wealth (and I’m speaking of more than money) is not wrong. It’s what we DO with that wealth (time and talent as well as “financial treasure”) that counts.”

Years ago a friend and I were talking about heaven, sin, following God’s will and how our lives were going in “that department.” And then I said: “You know, I’m not as afraid of what I DO as I am afraid of what I DON’T do! God has given me so much!”

“To whom much is given, much is expected.” None of us will ever be perfect on our journey to the Kingdom. Following Christ means only to do the best we can with all we’ve been given. Are we prepared to do that?!

Linda Caminiti