Scripture: Lectionary 473. Oct. 23. Ephesians 2:1-10. Psalm 100:18.104.22.168. Luke 12: 13-21:
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Paul keeps us alert to make us live maturely in our faith. We are to grow more and more into the likeness of Christ. He continues to develop this in Ephesians, a great teaching in how we are to be Church. It is one of the foundation pieces for the ecclesiology that already began in his first letter I Thessalonians (51 A.D.). We are to be more than just disciples of Christ; Paul urges us to be conformed to Christ, to be other Christs. Jesus has no hands but ours in doing what Paul is urging us to do with our lives. This means living our faith in a dynamic manner that focuses on the experience of Jesus in our lives.
The readings call us to set aside all selfishness, greed, and jealousy. We are to leave behind anything in our lives that took us away from being other Christs. The Psalm encourages us to live in the warmth and light of God’s loving and merciful kindness to us. We have been baptized in the mysteries of Christ and are to be active agents for him in our mission to bring him to others. Paul tells us, “We are truly God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance. We have these good gifts for the good of others and for the Church.
Jesus both in clear words and in the parable tells us to avoid all greed especially that dealing with one another. Unlike the litigiousness spirit that reigns in our nation we are to settle things with one another without any deceit or falsehood. Confrontation is to be done in a Christ-like manner not in a win at any cost attitude.
The parable about the rich man building more barns so that he may relax, eat heartily, drink well, and enjoy himself, while neglecting to even look behind his own pleasures to a neighbor in need. The parable confronts self-centeredness and greed. It shows how foolish it is to live just on what money can bring us, or in our desire always to own more than our next door neighbor. Our possessions do not guarantee us the rewards of the righteous and holy persons we are called to be.
Both Paul and Jesus call us to leave behind our excess baggage. Just look at our clothes closet and we probably see what excess baggage we have. We are always to have our eyes fixed on the joy and peace that a life lived for others brings us. God’s gifts to us are pure graces and favors. We are to be thankful for them and share them with others. This is part of the foundation of the Church. Growing daily in our faith is an imperative for living a mature Christian life.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.