Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner

From The Pastor’s Desk – True Wealth –
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.”

A young man was getting ready to graduate from col-
lege. For many months he had admired a beautiful
sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing that
his father could well afford it, he told him that was all
he wanted.
Finally on the day he was to graduate his father called
him into his private study, told him how proud he was
to have such a fine son and how much he loved him.
He then handed him a beautifully wrapped gift box.
Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man
opened the box and found a lovely leather bound Bible
with his name embossed on it in gold. He was angry so
he raised his voice to his father and said, “With all of
your money you give me a Bible rather than the sports
car I wanted.” He then stormed out of the house leav-
ing the Bible behind.
Many years passed and the young man was very suc-
cessful in the business he went in. He had a beautiful
home and a wonderful family but realized when he
thought about his father, that he was very old.
However, before he could make arrangements to go
see him he received a phone call from a funeral home
director telling him that his father had passed away and
had willed all of his possessions to him.
When the son arrived at his father’s house sadness
and regret filled his heart. He began to search through
his father’s important documents and saw the Bible his
father had given him for graduation. The Bible looked
new just as it was years ago when he was given it.
With tears in his eyes he opened the Bible and began
to turn through the pages. His father had carefully un-
derlined a verse which was Matthew 7:11 which reads,
“And if ye being evil know how to give good gifts to
your children how much more shall your Heavenly Fa-
ther who is in Heaven give to those who ask Him.”
As the son read those words a car key dropped from
the back of the Bible. It had a tag on it with the car
dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car
that he wanted so badly for his college graduation. On
the tag was the date of his graduation and the words
written in large print “PAID IN FULL.”
In today’s first reading, the prophet Amos warns
against complacency, which means taking for granted
the good things…no all things that have been entrusted
to us in this life beginning with the gift of life.
And yet as Christians there is no greater gift we have
than the gift of everlasting life…purchased at the price
not of a car, nice home, good education, stocked cabinets, time shares…but the awful price of the Son of God who died on the Cross…there is nothing we have then that we can lay claim to that is truly our own except our sins.
There is then no greater virtue with the exception of
love that we must cultivate in this life than humility,
which the rich man grossly lacked…humility exists in
those who are poor enough to see that they possess
nothing of their own.
There is nothing worse than religious complacency
since the negative consequences of a life that takes
God’s blessings for granted…may result in some after-
life torment, as the Rich Man today finds himself in, hav-
ing been Hell instead of Heaven to poor Lazarus.
Saint Vincent De Paul, the great Apostle of Charity,
whose holiness was written about in last week’s article
had this to say in light of today’s Gospel parable:
“If you consider the poor in the light of faith, then you
will observe that they are taking the place of the Son of
God who chose to be poor. Although in his passion Je-
sus almost lost the appearance of a man and was con-
sidered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block by
the Jews, he showed them that his mission was to
preach to the poor: He sent me to preach the good
news to the poor. We also ought to have this same spirit
and imitate Christ’s actions, that is, we must take care
of the poor, console them, help them, support their
cause.
Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself
disciples who were poor. He made himself the servant
of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as
to say that he would consider every deed which either
helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself.
Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those
who love the poor. For when one person holds another
dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves
or serves the one he loves.”
Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighbours’
worries and distress. We must beg God to pour into our
hearts sentiments of pity and compassion and to fill
them again and again with these dispositions.
As we press forward into this week, let us be aware of
the presence of Christ in all people especially the poor,
needy, down cast and suffering, and tend to the Christ
in them by way of the power of the Eucharistic Christ
fully present in us from this Mass…the most precious
gift, the greatest treasure we must never take for
granted.

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