Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019: Bulletin Column

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Dear Followers of the Savior,
            Luke (12:32-48) is really serious about how we live our faith. This passage heralds a message of urgency; it quick-ens our heartbeat. It rings with a rhythm of Advent under our skin. The passage is meant to capture our lives, our attention and even the ways in which we live.
            Today is my 40th anniversary of my first profession of vows. I still feel I am a novice, a beginner. I pray there are many years ahead for me to get it right, my life of prayer and my ministry. I am grateful there are parishioners whom I knew 40 years ago that are still in our community.
            The line from today’s gospel that strikes a chord is this, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” This line is not from a Hallmark card and it is not sentimental. This sentence is to be taken seriously. Only through maturity can we discover this treasure. Only through admitting our human frailty do we begin to turn toward God who invites us deeper into love, forgiveness, compassion and intimacy.
            As children, we tend to think of faith as a set of rules. We may think God’s job is to condemn us for not following these basics. This notion of God is limited. We may believe God punishes and remains slow to offer reconciliation and seldom generates hope. This notion of God may keep us only as obedient children. We may think we have our treasure all figured out by just doing what we were told to do.
           However, when we begin to realize our human life is not black and white, we begin to acknowledge God’s fidelity toward us. Our notion of God may then become too small for us. We may have experiences of not fitting in or be-coming disinterested in the Church. This is the place of real maturity and growth. This is where we develop an actual relationship with Christ Jesus and a new relationship with our own lives. Our growth in Christ takes many years. This maturity takes much discernment, compassion, faith and a willingness to go deeper into the mission of the Church.
            God alone reveals our treasure. God’s initiative is the core of prayer and shows us the beauty and wonder of relation-ship. We discover the treasure of God’s mercy only when we grow up and discover that we are not God. We are not in control. God is God and we are not. We also grow up when we struggle in life and in faith, when we finally take seriously our relationship with the Divine.
            As we mature with God, the mercy of God catches us and desires the best for us. We enter into the intimacy of God, not just following a rule to get our reward in heaven. God’s love desires us on earth. God longs to have an intimate and personal relationship with every aspect of the human heart. This is our real treasure.
Blessings along the way,
Fr. Ron

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