A priest was killed in France last week. He was killed celebrating the Mass. He was killed performing the highest act of his faith. He was killed for the faith. His faith is what matters.
All else is chasing after the wind.
We are entrenched in a world of distraction, a world of vanities. Millions of people are spending their time chasing digital creatures through the real world. Advertisers keep us chasing after the next new thing; all of our pastimes and hobbies become formats for marketing. We are encouraged to get the next, to gather more and to build garages that are bigger than our homes because people have more cars than kids.
“You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?”
In our Gospel this weekend Jesus calls all of us back to reality. He reminds us that no matter how many things we amass and how secure we find ourselves in our possessions, all of that will be stripped away from us in the end. When our life is demanded of us, will we be found wanting? When we can no longer hide behind our title or accomplishments or possessions, what will be revealed? We need to become rich in what matters to God.
St. Paul exhorts us to seek the things that are above. If we desire to live with Him someday, we need to always be seeking ways to serve Him. We need to be seeking ways to love Him, and we need to be seeking ways to bring others closer to Him. We grow in what matters to God when we “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.” This is a lifelong process, but it has to begin somewhere. If we follow these instructions of St. Paul then nothing will stand between us and the Lord.
In the midst of the division and chaos and violence that we witness everyday the only sure source of peace is Christ. When we give ourselves to Him, we will have the wisdom to navigate all of the madness of this world. When we give ourselves to Him, we will have the strength that we need to endure all of the pain in this world. When we give ourselves to Jesus, He will show us the things that keep us from Him.
The Lord is always calling us into a deeper relationship with Him through His Church. In the midst of trials, in the midst of chaos, in the midst of the pain, He is calling us to a deeper faith. It is our faith in Jesus Christ that gives us the strength to endure all things. When everything else is stripped away all we have is our faith. And that is enough.
Fr. Grant Lacey