“For where your treasure is, so also will your heart be.” Luke 12.34
So here it is again in this Sunday’s Gospel; a warning about not becoming attached to our possessions, money, wealth, things of this world. What God is warning us against is one of “The Seven Deadliest Sins”: Greed. Could it be that God warns of this because we as human beings are susceptible or highly likely to be drawn to this sin? We are surrounded by media blitz that convinces us that happiness is the benefit of owning a new vehicle, living in big house, traveling the world, or having our closets filled with the latest fashions. We can easily be seduced by this myth and it can become an addiction that controls our lives.
Jesus must have thought it quite a danger to the faithful as he provided many parables that we might be cautioned. Looking back over my own life, I believe that as we grow in wisdom, age and grace (I love that phrase), we come to know in our hearts that “things” do not bring lasting happiness. Oh, there is certainly happiness in the anticipation and accomplishment of owning a new car, or our first boat or motorcycle or even our homes. But with them comes great responsibility to maintain, insure, and replace these things, adding to our burdens in life. It seems the exuberant happiness is often fleeting and we continue to look for one more thing to possess. We can fall into a cycle of desires that never really seems to be satisfied.
St. Augustine spoke to this when he prayed, “Our hearts are restless Lord, until they rest in you.” It is being one with God that will bring us true and everlasting happiness. As we live, we grow, we learn and we recognize that what we crave most is to be with God, for we belong to God and he waits patiently to greet us with unconditional love and mercy when we turn to Him. It is then that our hearts are at rest, no longer seeking “things” of the world to satisfy our wants.
To work hard, to accomplish much in this life and to possess things is not sinful, in fact, it is necessary for our time here on this earth. What Jesus cautions us against is becoming greedy and not sharing what we have with others. He encourages us not to store up riches for selfish reasons, rather to share what we earn and be generous to others so that all His people have what they need. In that way we are again blessed for as many know, when we give out of thanksgiving for how we have been blessed, we receive still more!
With gratitude and joy,