September 8, 2019
Dear Followers of the Risen Christ,
Christians believe that everything comes from God. Every possession is used for the common good. This is certainly how the early Christians lived their lives. Everything we purchase, every item of clothing in the back of our closets, and even every unnecessary purchase reveals the dignity of God. God longs to make room enough in our hearts to abide with love and kindness. However, sometimes our lives are just too full notice God’s healing presence or satisfying love. Sometimes we hide behind our possessions only to make us feel important or in control.
Today’s gospel, Luke 14:25-33, invites us to evaluate our possessions, even our possessions of family and all of our earthly relationships. God certainly seems selfish sometimes. However, God desires our entire beings. He wants to rest in our souls. He desires us. He wants to remain housed in human hearts that long for him. So, we have to be careful not to give our own lives away, to selfishness, to pride and ambivalence and a heart filled with chaos and jealousy.
I am sure many of you have heard of “The Minimalist” movement. It is a fresh view of having only the possessions we really need and use. Being a minimalist takes on many forms. However, the extent of how it is lived includes our use of money, how many possessions we own, how we take care of our bodies, and how we pay our debts. The point of the minimalist life is to live with purpose, intentionality and in relationship with the world amid climate disintegration, world hunger and injustice. The movement includes how we use our talents and gifts to better the world. It seems that many people have reinterpreted the message of this gospel for our modern day apart from the Church. Our possessions tell others what we really value. They speak to people about how we live in fear or freedom.
Jesus invites us to live an intentional life in today’s gospel. He asks us that when our children or families get in the way of faith that even those important relationships need to be evaluated. Perhaps as we begin a new school year and look forward to autumn, we may consider what it means for us to live within our means, to show our respect for our families by not putting them in debt, and consider the healthy ways we care for our bodies, and support the charities that most need us.
I find it interesting that one possession that Jesus will not let us throw away or rebuke or shun is the cross. His life within us means that we carry within the bruises of our hearts the hope that our relationship with Christ Jesus will be our true riches. Perhaps we can consider this week our priority to face God with our real lives, not hiding behind earthly possessions, but with the honesty of bearing the weight of his love within us.
Peace on the journey,