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  • Bill Miller

July 31, 2022, Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23 Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11 Luke 12:13-21

Reflecting on the scriptures

“ Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions. “

At my mother's funeral I recounted a statement she had made many times, "I feel like Rockefeller.“ For her that name conjured up enormous wealth. And, I must add, she made that comment as she reflected on her children and grandchildren. That is what made her wealthy in her eyes.

From her I learned the beauty of window-shopping… The idea that one can admire something without the need to possess it.

She would have been mystified by the rich man in today's gospel who identifies his wealth and security with the many good things he has stored up.

And that rich man is certainly not alone, then or now. I remember staring open-mouthed at my television screen last December when I saw an automobile commercial that suggested you might buy an automobile for your spouse as a Christmas present and… while you're at it… one for yourself, too!

And yet, survey after survey tells us that wealth does not in itself make for happiness, that the very wealthy are not particularly happier than anybody else. Of course, basic human needs need to be met. Poverty can be soul crushing. But once one's needs are met we seem to be hardwired to be happiest when we are "rich in what matters to God. “

Imagine yourself at the end of a long day, sinking into your bed and smiling to yourself as you think, "Today was a good day!“

What would make you say that? Did you spend some time outdoors, in the beautiful world God created? Did you work hard and accomplish something that leaves the world better? Did you spend time with people you love and who love you? Did you volunteer at a soup kitchen or visit someone who needed your company, or help a child?

I'd bet anything that those are the activities that put a smile on your face at the end of the day. Those are the experiences that lead you to thank God for the gifts and talents and opportunities that God has given you… the riches that matter to God.

by: Pat Schnee

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