13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jul 6, 2017

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time


There are many paradoxes in Christianity and today we are reminded of another one. Jesus in today’s gospel reminds us that the one who seeks only himself will bring himself to ruin; whereas, he who forgets himself for the Lord discovers who he is.
Have we ever thought about this very long? Let’s take a moment to assess our lives and see just what of this statement applies to us. First of all, do we have a habit of thinking of others before ourselves, or do we want more often to take care of our needs first before ever thinking of helping someone else out?
Folks, sin in our lives is not just wrong acts we commit, but the failure to commit right acts. We all have been given opportunities to reach out and help someone or some good cause, and perhaps, often have not responded. Each failure to respond when we could have is recorded for all eternity. We could say that a video tape of our lives will be played back for us to see when we meet the Lord on the last day. Let’s be more conscious of the sins of omission, the things we fail to do, and not just the sins of commission, the things we actually do.
Do we want to live our faith completely, or do we feel we can pick and choose which teachings of the church to follow and still be a good Catholic? Our reading from the Second Book of Kings reminds us of how precious the gift of life is. The woman Shunem was without a son to provide for her in her old age. Yet, God helped her to conceive because of her generosity to Elisha the prophet. Which parallels well with the gospel where Jesus says today that “he that welcomes a holy man because he is known to be holy receives a holy man’s reward.”
The reason why it is good to bring this up is that many Catholic families we know are not as open to life as they should be. Many contracept still after knowing that it is a grave moral evil-a mortal sin. Natural family planning is available; and yet, it is not widely considered or embraced enough. Being generous with God and being open and generous to life will come with rewards if we accept and embrace it.
Is that more expensive house more important than a family? I noticed something and maybe you have noticed this too. Houses built today are getting larger and larger but only two people often live in them. No children, just an animal or two that are treated more like children than pets. A priest friend of mine called these homes shrines to contraception. Both members of the couples work- having careers, paying large salaries but have no time for children. This may apply to your life, it may not, but it applies to many households today, and many are Catholic households. “He who seeks only himself brings himself to ruin” the gospel today-if we remember.
My Grandfather always said, whatever you give comes back to you. It is so true! Whatever we do in this life has a corresponding consequence. And if you have not considered this before- start considering it, because nothing we do or fail to do in life is going to get past Almighty God.
We all have certain things we enjoy doing, hobbies, sports, going to good restaurants, having nice things, etc. We put a lot of time into each of them. Maybe all our free time goes into these endeavors, yet how much time in our day should we pray and thank the Good Lord for all we do have? Our families, our friends, our jobs, our homes, our very existence. Every good thing we have comes from Him. How often do we think of this?
He could take it all away if He wanted at any time. We all have heard someone say to us when they were seeking a contribution to something, “You can’t take it with you.” We live sometimes as if we can, …and as Christians we really can! What? you may be thinking.. A friend of mine put it this way, she said, “You know Father, we can can only keep the things we give away in life.”
Wow! If more people would understand this! “We can only keep the things we give away.” What she was referring to was that in eternal life what we have given away to Our Lord in this life, our lives, our money, our time in prayer, our concern for others, our generous sacrifices for the love of God and neighbor. These will follow us intro heaven, yet, on the flip side the lack there of will also follow us.
We know pretty much what we have done until this day, July 1st or July 2nd, 2017. How many days left for us, we do not know. Yet, we do know that is never too late to change our ways. For some of us this may be harder than for others. The advice of Our Lord today is do not waste any time.
For how we have lived our Catholic Faith in this life, we can take with us-how well we have followed the teachings of the Church, and been open to life, how we have loved our neighbor as ourselves, how generous we have been with our time and our spiritual and material gifts. We can take all of this with us into the next life that is eternal.
For we all want the Lord to say to us on Judgement Day, “Good and faithful servant, you have forgotten yourself in life, and thereby discovered who you are, a child of God, worthy of the eternal joys of heaven. Come and enter into my rest!”