Sunday, August 1, 2010

What do we really value?

Today's Gospel included one of the most powerful messages in Holy Scripture. It was Luke 12:13-21:

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”

This leads me to ask: what do we really value in life? Do we base our happiness on the fleeting possessions of this world? Or, do we ultimately find our deepest longings satisfied in another world? It seems obvious to me that every person in every culture has an innate desire for a perfect and lasting happiness. Yet, it is also true that such happiness cannot be found in this world. All of us will die some day, after all. Do we dare conclude as C.S. Lewis did, that we were made for another world?

It is always possible to put off giving our lives to our Lord, Jesus. We can say, "yeah, it all seems reasonable, but I'd like to know more first," but eventually we will have to make a decision. We cannot put off the decision forever, so the question remains: are we prepared to trust in God in the hopes that we will receive the treasures of heaven?

Personally, I want to be like Joshua: "As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15).

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