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08/07/16 Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 117

  • From today’s Gospel: “Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.”
  • Jesus isn’t telling us that there’s anything inherently wrong with worldly wealth…
  • Money isn’t the problem… How we pursue it and how we use it are what can sometimes lead us to miss the mark…
  • What Jesus is telling us… is that we need to reexamine our concept of wealth and try to broaden our perspective
  • The world often sees wealth in terms of its tangible value… Value that can be measured in terms of currency
  • But if we limit ourselves to this narrow interpretation of wealth, we often miss what’s really important in life…
  • There are other forms of wealth, and there are other things of value that cannot be equated to currency.… Many of which are often overlooked by the world…
  • Jesus is asking us to reevaluate how we perceive what is of real value in life… And not to limit our worldview
  • Our blind acceptance of the world’s narrow definition of wealth and value in terms of dollars and cents, can lead us to sacrifice our humanity in the process
  • If we pay attention to how we as a society measure value - We’ll notice that it’s almost always equated to dollars and cents…
  • For example
    • How do we evaluate the cost of healthcare?
    • How do we evaluate the cost of education?
    • How do we evaluate the cost of maintaining our freedom?
  • We can readily produce monetary values for each of these, and many more… but the additional question that Jesus might ask is: What is their human cost?
  • One of the underlying messages of the Gospel is that people are more important than things
  • We are not human resources… We are human beings
  • Our compassion, our kindness, our mercythe very attributes that make us human… can often be dulled and obscured by our tendency to value things only in terms of dollars and cents…
  • We need to expand our concept of wealth and learn to define value in the broader context of the Gospel
  • The Gospel requires us to be men and women of conscience
  • The Gospel requires us to value principles above tangible values or results
  • Jesus was a man of conscience who saw value in many of the things that the world simply overlooked
  • Jesus saw true wealth in the things that have lasting value far beyond our lives on this earth…
  • This is what it means to follow Christ
  • It requires us to take the road less travelled
  • It requires us to have the courage to follow our heart and our conscience rather than following the crowd
  • It requires us to question conventional wisdom and do what we know to be right…
  • None of this means that we should ignore the tangible costs of our decisions – The use of our intellect and reason is a central tenet of our faith…
  • It simply means that we should use the teachings of the Gospel to help us measure value, rather than blindly accepting the world’s limited view…
  • Jesus asks us to broaden our view of what is of real value in life, to include the intangibles that are all too easy to overlook…
  • And finally from today’s Gospel… “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
  • This one passage can lead us to ask ourselves some very hard questions…
  • What do we truly value in life?
  • What is it that we’re willing to sacrifice for?
  • What are we willing to stand up for?
  • What are we willing to struggle for?
  • What is it that we may even be willing to die for?
  • If we take the time to ponder these questions… We’ll likely find that the things that we truly value in life… the things that we care deeply about and are willing to sacrifice for and perhaps even die for… Cannot be measured in terms of their monetary value

 

  • This is the message that Jesus is trying to convey to the disciples, and to each of usThat there’s so much more of value in life, than can be measured in dollars and cents

 

  • I’ll close with a quote from Father David Lonsdale S.J. who wrote: “The ultimate guide for our choices however, is not primarily prudence, a particular ideology, or conventional wisdom, but (rather), our own appreciation of what it means in practice here and now to love as Jesus loved.”  (Listening to the Music of the Spirit, Pg. 114)

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