August 11, 2019: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Luke 12:32-38
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.
Jesus’ call for us to “sell our belongings and give alms” is meant to startle us enough that we take a step back and reassess what the gift of the kingdom of God means to us.
What kind of gift requires us to sell our possessions and give alms and in that giving make the gift the most important treasure of our heart?
This is obviously a gift of great importance to the giver. A gift that implies shared expectations and a relationship between giver and recipient. The gift of the kingdom is not a gift given for our personal use but one entrusted to us as stewards — our job is to serve not exercise power.
If we are to embrace this gift as our most precious treasure, then we will have a heart for the poor and needy among us. We will accept responsibility for the community’s well-being. We will work to chisel away at the social structures that continue to marginalize and exclude. And we will care for the earth that is the home of the now of the kingdom of God. It is no wonder Jesus says we are to live simply, “gird our loins” and keep our lamps burning.
This week prayerfully reflect on what you are doing to invest in the kingdom of God. Can you free up time or money to do more? Has Providence been tugging at your heart to invest in something new?