Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 24, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Memorial Feast:  Saint Sharbel Makhluf (1828-+1898) – Patron Saint of Lebanese Christians

Book of the Prophet Jeremiah 3:14-17

Psalm (Jeremiah) 31

Matthew 13:18-23

 

In the Gospel narrative from this past Sunday our Lord explained the parable of the man who sowed good seed in his field.  Today Jesus reflects only on the third type of soil that the seed fell on; the seed that fell on rocky ground.  We learned that the seed grew and blossomed.  However, “world anxiety” siphoned off just enough water and nutrients that the seed was not able to bear fruit.  The plant was alive, but it did not reach maturity.  Jesus is referring to the frantic or those who re too entangled with the cares of this world any by its riches.  Here we are being reminded that since the beginning of Christianity the Catholic Church has always recognized the need for the spirit of poverty.  Poverty is one of the three evangelical counsels and the other two are chastity and obedience.  It is so necessary to be detached from possessions and riches if we want to go forward in our Christian life.

This is so especially today.  Materialism is an all-pervasive temptation in our world.   Recently I read an article in a copy of “Our Daily Bread,” which reflected about materialism.  To the best of my recollection the article stated that when a person loves earthly things so much that he/she can’t get along without them and therefore opens themselves to taking foolish risks to keep their riches intact.  It was said that some folks have died rushing into burning houses or were killed in other ways because they stubbornly resisted loosing their wealth.  Apparently they felt that without their material possessions their lives would not be worthwhile.  WOW!

Friends, we depend on our personal wealth to survive.  Food, clothing, education, recreation, charitable contributions, obligated taxes, and so forth and  all are dependent on our “personal wealth.”   However, our hearts and minds must use the teachings of Jesus as our guide to use moderations and common sense regarding or attachment or detachment to the “earthly riches” of our world.  One of His greatest examples was from Luke 21:4 when He spoke of the poor woman from Jerusalem who, out of her poverty, gave two small coins to the temple treasury which was everything that she had to live on.  

If I may I would like to offer one final thought.  In our busy and hectic lives our devotion to wealth and possessions endanger our relationship with Christ and the Church becomes one tiny sector among many.  When that happens, our spiritual growth is sure to be stifled.  I pray this will never, ever occur. 

 Question of the Day:  What aspects of “worldly anxiety” tend to choke your life of grace?  How then can you “weed” them out more effectively?

Prayer:  “The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2544.)

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

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