Column from parish bulletin: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Believers, I had my yearly physical at the doctor’s office this week. Now that I am 60, there were all kinds of new and exciting tests! However, the one thing that is so evident is that I am certainly my parents’ son, even in terms of health and aging. I am the product of my mother and father and the ways I have lived in the world and how I care (or not) for myself even in my physical life and health.

The gospel today from Luke (12:32-48) gets at this same idea for our lives of faith and belief. In both of the parables today, the idea is that we need to look at how we live when the master is away. In other words, we are the product of our lives of faith; we are the lived reality of how we have incorporated faith into our every action. We are called to be vigilant when the master is away the same way we learn to take care of our earthly bodies and even our ideas and self worth.

We cannot live the life of a Christian half-heartedly. We cannot claim to be a follower of Christ Jesus in name only. We are to care for our faith as we do everything else in our family and personal lives. It is a lot of hard work; like exercise and eating well, our daily lives of prayer must be cared for, nourished, and treasured. What we put into this following of Jesus makes us better adults, more loving and wise and forgiving. Children often carry on the traits of their parents, and we are called to do the same after our baptism. We are Children of God. Gospel values and the daily Eucharist form us. We are products of being forgiving, loving people. We are products of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. This means that we learn by the example of Jesus, the disciples, and all the saints before us how to work through change, loss and suffering. We are people in faith with hope to bring our world because of our ancestors.

So we live as Jesus taught us, with courage and tenacity. The last line of the parable in today’s gospel is, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” This is an incredibly challenging statement.

I invite you to take some prayer time this week and reflect on your inheritance of faith, love, and mercy. Reflect on what it means for you to live a life of faith passed down from your parents, ancestors, the lived faith of the saints, and, of course, the reality of what Jesus has done for you.

We really do not know when the Master will return. However, we live a life of justice and prayer in the meantime. We value all of life, not just when Jesus is watching us. We live with an eye of faith toward God’s beloved poor and the sick and the dying. We speak out on others’ behalf because we cling to the love and voice of Jesus, not because we are supposed to do such things. We are entrusted with much in life and so we are called to go even more deeply into our faith and into the lives of suffering people. Living a mature life of faith is not easy. There are many distractions. Sometimes we just give up because of our age, because life seems to not really change.

Here are some questions to reflect upon this week: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” What in your life does this statement from the gospel call you to? What is your treasure? Where is your true heart in the matter of your faith? How does this statement challenge you? How are you to search for your true treasure? How does this statement change your priorities?

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” How can you take stock of your life and what you have received from your parents, your teachers, and from Jesus? What does it mean to you to be responsible for your life? How can you better live the values Jesus has given you? How do you use your talents and your goodness for the benefit of others?

Blessings to you,

Ron

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