The readings this weekend really sock it to us with one central question: “What is really important?” In the 1990’s Don Henley wrote a lyric that comes to mind here: “They don’t make hearses with luggage racks.”
The surrounding area of our parish is an exploding, energetic, upwardly mobile community. Actually, until I moved here, I had never seen a four-car garage. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not begrudging anyone’s hard work and success. But scripture reminds us, as did Vatican II, “we are a pilgrim people.” We are just passing through this world.
We (myself included) have been gifted with the ability to accumulate a lot of stuff. And when we fill our houses, we rent storage units, or we buy bigger houses. Some of us are very generous with our excess. We give to the poor, to the Church, to various causes. We save for our kids’ college accounts, weddings, etc. Many of us are getting to the age when we are starting to need to take care of our aging parents and our kids are on their own.
It can be said that all of us really struggle with not just giving of our excess, but giving of our core. Not just money, but service, too. St. Boniface is a great place to dive in. There is something for everyone, and we always appreciate your support. As fast as we are growing, we really need it.
It really comes down to perspective. As we move through life, our perspective changes, and so do our choices. The first reading from Ecclesiastes tells us that everything is vanity. Nothing lasts. We can’t hold on to anything, because it is all temporary. St. Paul tells us to get our moral affairs in order and to put Christ in the center. Jesus, in the Gospel, reminds us that just as we are building bigger barns to put all our stuff that didn’t fit in our smaller barns—POOF!–we die. So where does that leave us?
St. Paul tells us that he “preaches Christ, and him crucified.” The gospel life is hard. It calls us to love, love until it hurts. Love is not an emotion, but an act of the will, a decision. If we choose to love, than our life will be well ordered, we will begin to do what we ought to be doing. We will know what is really important, and we will find the faith and the grace to do something about it.
When it comes down to it, what is really important?