PRAISED BE Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
The rich man thought that he was a very fulfilled man. He had more than enough of what he needed that he had to tear down his barn to build a larger one. He consoled himself with the thought: “Now you have so many good things stored up for many years. Rest, eat, drink, and be merry!”
But this is not so because the Lord warns us: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” One’s life does not consist of possessions because the purpose of life is not to be rich in material possessions but to be rich in God’s sight. St. Paul, in the 2nd reading, reminds us: “Seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not what is of earth.” Oftentimes, our hearts are much concerned with the things of the earth at the expense of what is really more important…which would be the salvation of our souls. We are much too concerned with material things that eventually will pass away while we forget that we are meant for eternal life. Material possessions may sustain us at present but these will be left behind when God calls us to depart from this world at the moment of death. Therefore, we should strive to be rich, not with material possessions but to be rich in the sight of God. Fr. Aris Sison said, “To become rich in the sight of God means not to fall into the temptation of anxiety as if everything depends on us. To become rich in the sight of God means to subordinate all – work, goods, and life to God’s Kingdom. To become rich in the sight of God means ‘to give alms’.”
St. John Vianney said: “If someone cheats us once, we say, ‘We will trust him no more – and with good reason.’ The world cheats us continually and we love it. ‘Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world,’ St. John warns us. If we give some thought to what the world really is, we should pass all our lives in bidding it farewell…Everyday, we are bidding farewell to the world. We are like travelers who enjoy the beauty of the countryside through which they are passing. No sooner do they see it than it is time for them to leave it behind. It is exactly the same for the pleasures and the good things to which we have become so attached. Then we arrive at the edge of eternity, which engulfs all these things in its abyss.
“It is then that the world will disappear forever from our eyes and that we shall recognize our folly in having been so attached to it. And all that has been said to us about sin!...Then we shall say: It was all true! Alas, I lived only for the world, I sought nothing but the world in all I did, and now the pleasures and the joys of the world are not for me any longer! They are all slipping from me – this world which I have loved so well, these joys, these pleasures which I have so fully occupied my heart and my soul!
“Now I must return to God! . . . How consoling this thought is for him who sought only God throughout his life! But what a despairing thought for him who has lost sight of God and of the salvation of his soul.” (Sermon of St. John Vianney)
“Vanity of vanities! All things are vanities!” Because of this, “think of what is above, not of what is of the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ appears, then you too will appear in glory.”
Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!