19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: “The real treasure of life is ourselves”

August 7, 2022

What we have just heard is a “mouthful” – a lot of wisdom and know-how, to make it through life.  It all has to do with how God has created us to function well and to get the most out of life.

So, let’s begin to unpack it all.  

The starting point is being a person of hope and promise.  We have received this mysterious gift that we call Faith.  It is a feeling, a sense, a deep conviction about God, who has given us the gift of life and who attracts us to live for more than this life – “to look forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God,” our second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

What we call “Faith” is this spiritual and deep emotional trust that God has shared with us “that we are strangers and aliens on earth.”

The letter to the Hebrews tries to describe this curiosity and hope that has been given to us that we “desire a better homeland, a heavenly one.”

Very often, I hear the lamentation, that is also a recognition, that many of you hang your life on: “I don’t know how people can get through this or that if they do not have faith.”

Speaking of our ancient spiritual Father, Abraham, the letter to the Hebrews wrote: “By faith, he received the power to generate,” which refers first to a very old man and a sterile woman to have sex together and to conceive a child to be named Isaac.  I would suggest to all of us today that God had something more stupendous in heart and mind – to generate, to give life, to share life, to walk through life with a full sense of what living and life are all about.

Too often we are sweating in the details of life, trying to do everything on our own, when we should be flowing in the greater spirit and grandeur of life.

We are given the gift of life and we are to be a steward of the gift.  That makes all the difference, Jesus tells us today – to be generous stewards of life.

The real treasure of life is ourselves, the real people that God has created.  In and through life, we become the real human beings that God wants us to become.  “Where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.”  Our bank accounts and investments will not arrive in heaven with us, but our true human hearts will.

“Bless those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his return.”  We are servants for one another and stewards.  “Light your lamps, show the way, Jesus invites.  Be prepared.  One way to be prepared is to simplify our life on earth.  We can enjoy all the experiences of life, but we do not need to hoard them, either in bank accounts or in our homes.  Possessions of any kind do not define us, will not make us happier, provide no human comfort, and do not follow us into heaven.

If we have a true and real relationship with Jesus, he promises to serve us and to take care of us in ways that we cannot do for ourselves!

The challenge for a good, sound spiritual outlook for our lives is to be consistent and constant.  Jesus hopes for us to be alert to Him and to others at every hour or opportunity: “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of man will come.”

The followers of Jesus at the end of the first century expected and hoped for the world to end and for heaven to begin.  When it did not happen, a great spiritual expectation adjustment had to take place.

The problem is how to keep up the expectation that Jesus will come again.  It is not far-fetched to think that the cosmos and the universes that have existed for billions of years, our earth being a part, will continue for billions of years.

So where is heaven and when will Jesus come?  Certainly, when we die!

Meanwhile, we are the stewards and we keep everything as God intends.  So, Jesus reminds us today: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

We are not here to accumulate, but to live our lives fully and freely and lovingly!

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