“Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” How close to home does this hit for us? Our society teaches us the importance of possessions and the need to pursue them for both our desires and our ‘security.’ Both our first reading and our gospel point to the foolishness of pursuit of earthly riches. Jesus tells us in the gospel this parable of the rich fool, that our possessions and accomplishments will not benefit us on judgment day – particularly if they get in the way of doing God’s will. When we get wrapped up in our pursuit of earthly treasures, we lose sight of the heavenly ones. We spend our time preparing for our future – our retirement, when the reality is that our true focus should be on our eternal future – our salvation.
As Vincentians, we are constantly dealing with people who have no possession to speak of, and little hope of gaining many. The “Hidden Rules” of poverty teach us that people in poverty value people and relationships as their possessions. Often, faith is all they have left and growing in their relationship with God gains greater meaning. These readings seem to point to the wisdom of valuing people and relationships more than our ‘earthly possessions’ of things. When I minister to those in poverty, do I see the wisdom of valuing people, relationships and spirituality that they can teach me? Do I sometimes allow my desire for material riches to outweigh my desire for spiritual riches?
Lord Jesus, help me to keep my focus always on you. Help me to grow in the virtue of simplicity, not desiring those things which get in the way of keeping my gaze on you. Through those I minister to, allow me to see the value of spiritual riches, and relationship to you through relationships with others. Help me to never lose sight of what is truly important in life for me and for those to whom I minister. We pray all of this in your name. Amen