Pastor’s Weekly Message 7-31-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

Today’s Gospel is often interpreted in terms of the distribution of wealth among nations and what it means to live in a just economy. This global view is certainly important. When one reviews the lists of the world’s wealthiest individuals and nations the discrepancies between top and bottom rungs of the economic ladder are jaw-dropping, and conscience-raising. The need to address these inequalities is noble work we are all called to engage in within our sphere of influence. But the Gospel has personal, as well as global, implications for the people of God.

I am reminded of something I wrote recently in regards to the Gospel story of Martha and Mary. Jesus’ admonitions typically come out of a place of love and concern for the person or people He is addressing. In this Gospel, Jesus cautions against greed and against prioritizing material wealth over spiritual riches. These actions have major implications for the greedy hoarders’ local communities and extrapolate out to the broader economy, but they also have unhealthy ramifications for the individuals themselves. Jesus does not caution against successful work or even wealth. These are necessities to care for ourselves, our families, our communities, and to provide for the basic needs of the poor. The rich man in the parable is not called foolish by God for being a good businessman, but rather for the selfish isolation which causes him to hoard his success. God is not angry with the rich man, He is saddened for him, and for his lost opportunity to know true wealth in this life.

St. Augustine writes, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O God.” As we come to realize that God is our greatest desire, we may notice that material things are not as important. When we recognize that our relationship with God is our deepest longing, we come to know that part of this relationship is caring for others by sharing the gifts God has given us. Jesus wants us to invest in what is important to God not only for the good of others but for our health and happiness.

I wish you and your loved ones blessings of good health and healthy abundance. Please continue to pray for peace and for equality in our world,

Fr. Paul

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