Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone

It is such a blessing to have a priest who searches the Word and seeks to share the Spirit of the Sunday readings with us.  Here is the Sermon for today.

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Avarice – we are not secure because of what we own or that fact that our needs are met.

Father Raphael told us a story. A pastor came across a parishioner. Instead of being well- dressed and financially stable as he usually was, the man was depressed and scruffy looking. The pastor asked the man what was wrong. The man told the pastor he had made some wrong financial investments, lost his money, and was miserable. The pastor suggests that the man open up his Bible, put a finger on a page, and listen to what the Word says. (Heather’s note – that can be dangerous – could get Judas went and hanged himself turn a page, put your finger down and get, go ye and do likewise). The next time the pastor sees this parishioner, the man is well dressed and happy. He tells the pastor he took his advice and opened up his Bible but didn’t come up with a passage – instead his finger landed on Chapter 11.  (declare bankruptcy).

We were looking at a passage in Luke 12:13-21Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”  But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

We don’t want to get caught up in riches or anything that takes away from where God is in our life.

The foolish rich man wanted to store his grain, figured now that he had a great harvest he could relax. But he was a fool because that very night his soul was going to be required of him.

We can get so caught up in storing up stuff for ourselves instead of making ourselves rich for God.

Father told a joke about a couple walking down the street and they heard a voice say, “You are going to live for one hundred years.” The couple was older and decided that, since they were going to live longer, they should improve their appearance, so they got facelifts and other cosmetic surgery. One day they crossed the road and were killed by a car. When they asked God, “Thought you said we were going to live one hundred years.” God said, “I didn’t recognize you.”

We want to live our lives so we store up our treasures in Heaven, not just to accumulate possessions and money here on earth.

Jesus mentions money sixty times. Money can lead to conflict and danger. Instead of focusing on earthly riches, focus on the house being built in Heaven for you. The planks are charity, the beams are hope, and the roof is love. Emulate the Pope who is showing by his life how to live a life of care for others.

We can get seduced by materialism and forget God.

Jesus is questioned by a rich young ruler. (Heather’s note, my favorite version for it shows Jesus’ love for this youth)  Mark 10:17-22 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”  So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”  And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”  But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Jesus told the young man to sell all he had and follow Jesus. The man had great riches and could not bring himself to do what Jesus told him to do.

A businessman told someone that if they wanted to start a business they must never forget peace of heart. If you create a business for only financial success you create a cage for yourself and it is lonely in that cage.

Keep God the center of your heart, not money or possessions.

God can keep us. He raised Jesus from the dead. God can take the money we have and help us use it to bless others. Grow rich in the eyes of God.

Someone said, there are no pockets in Heaven. When we give, we receive. God rewards us one hundred-fold.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

We can choose to be poor in Spirit or rich in purse. (Heather’s note – I suspect we can do both – if we plan to focus our finances to serve God and His Kingdom.)

Happy are we when we strive to serve God and show God’s generosity to others, not focusing on ourselves. 

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Hope your day is blessed,

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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