JULY 31, 2022

You can look around a lot and the gospel today makes sense.
It points at how we can get caught up in what we own and what people have.
It’s about possessions and how they take us over- or how we react when we lack what we once had.
We enjoy wealth but we have a mixed reaction to it.

Saint Ignatius mentioned three obstacles to our faith – wealth, honour, pride. He saw from his own experience that people wanted wealth so that they would be highly thought of – it can be the right school, the right address, the right bank.
We have pride in what we have, but as we know, things can change very quickly. Shares go down; you may become ill or die.

The battle is between being rich in the sight of the world and being rich in the sight of God.

The opposites of these obstacles are simplicity, integrity, and humility. Humility is pride in who we are – children of God, brothers and sisters to each other, and accepting ourselves just as we are. We need nothing outside of ourselves to make us feel good about ourselves. This too is simplicity.

What we have is a gift, given to us for the good of the world, the community, the neighbourhood, not just for the good of the self.

And in the end, what matters is that we are judged on love not on wealth. Or if we have had wealth, we will be judged on what we did with it. It can lead us away from God very easily. Do we live like him? Be rich in God – in mercy, love, forgiveness and justice.

may your kingdom of justice and peace
come on earth

Donal Neary S.J.