Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 4, 2019 – Year C
Readings: Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23 / Ps 90 / Col 3:1-5, 9-11 / Lk 12:13-21
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A story is told about a professor in a prestigious university who, when he was about to receive tenure, suddenly left his position and took a job teaching in a poverty-stricken neighborhood. One day, one of his former colleagues sees him shopping in a small grocery store. The colleague approaches him and asks him what he’s doing with his life. He responds that he’s teaching in an inner city high school, and that he is happy and finding fulfillment in helping the poor school students.
The colleague asks the question he really wants to know: “So, what do you make?”
He answers, “I make a difference.”
In all three readings today, God’s words remind us that this is what matters: To follow God’s commandments and make a difference in other people’s lives. All the rest is vanity, as the Book of Ecclesiastes puts it.
In the gospel, Jesus said to take care to guard against all greed. One’s life does not consist of possessions. The rich man in the parable is not condemned because he is wealthy, but because he is greedy. You must have already known that there are saints who were wealthy, but they were also selfless, other-centered, charitable, and loving.
After visiting some of our parishioners in one of the nursing homes in the area yesterday, I went on to visit and give Holy Communion to Sally. Some of you here may have known her or met her in the past. Up until her late eighties, she was still working as a volunteer in our local hospital and also volunteered in our parish office. Talking to her will give you the impression that everything is wonderful in the world we live in.
Yesterday she asked me, “Father I wonder if I still have a mission in this world because I can no longer go anywhere like I used to.”
I told her she certainly does. In fact, I continued, “Before I came here to your house, I felt exhausted after spending time in the nursing home. But as soon as you greeted me with a smile and told me that you’d had a fabulous morning, because you saw two deer and a fawn in your yard, and that there’s a groundhog making a dwelling nearby as well,” I told her, “You made me feel better, and I now have enough energy to continue my ministry for the rest of the day.” So I told her to just be herself and continue spreading the Good News.
As St. Mother Teresa said, “As God’s children, we really don’t need to do great things. All we need is to do little things with great love.”