‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;Luke 12:20-21
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”
Each of us is charged with living a life that honors God. For some people, this charge is obvious. A priest, religious brother, or a nun dedicate their entire life to serve the Church, that is their primary purpose in life. Their hard work is intended to draw people closer to God. But the reality is, most of us work outside the church. We dedicate our time teaching, serving, leading, and/or performing tasks so that the company we work for is successful in carrying out its mission. Our primary purpose is to provide a service, and to receive compensation for our contribution; this is the system of commerce that most of us are a part of. A lesson can be learned from the parable that we hear today.
The man in today’s Gospel didn’t understand that the abundance he had was not intended to benefit only him, but rather everyone. Our talent, time, and treasure are meant to be used for others, as our lives are a gift from God, and all of the “bounty” of our life is to be shared. This reflection is not meant to guilt someone into supporting the work of the church by volunteering or tithing more, that is not how I personally think or how I operate. I operate with a clear understanding that the Lord has immensely blessed my life (and, each of yours) and that the fruits of my effort are due to the blessings that he has given to me. Giving back is a way of acknowledging this. There are studies that show that a higher degree of happiness is achieved by those who cheerfully give to others. I regularly witness that joy here at St. Isidore with the smiles on the faces of our volunteers in all of the various ministries. My friend, the late Bill Sabonis, had a motto that refuted the idea of giving until it hurts. He would say “Chris, don’t give until it hurts, give until you smile.” I think this is a great way to live. The more we give of our time, talent and treasure, the more we glorify God on our earthly journey, and the happier we become. As we head to work tomorrow, let us realize that the efforts of our day are an opportunity to glorify God.