GREED – the more one has, the more one wants – one is never satisfied, one is consumed with the desire for more!
Luke 12:13-21 …. Jesus says to the crowd that is following Him: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Everyone has a right to good food, clean water, decent clothing, a suitable home, affordable medical care, reasonable leisure time, adequate wages and fulfilling work employment, enriching education, freedom of religion, physical security and all of those things that make for quality of life. Greed is something else. It is an obsession with more. Greed takes possession of us and enslaves us.
I write a lot about anxiety because I experience a lot of anxiety. I am an anxious person. I would like people to see me as well put together but that is not my reality. I suffer from anxiety – much of it just free-floating anxiety.
How do I attempt to deal with it?
- I begin my day by telling myself that I really have nothing to complain about. I do a short mental gratitude list reminding myself of all the good things in my life;
- I bring my anxiety to the foot of the cross and surrender it to Jesus;
- I tell myself that I don’t have to take on the whole world all at once. I don’t even have to take on the entire day all at once. All I have to do is be present to the moment and do the next right thing;
- I confess that God is God; that God gives me unconditional love and that God will take care of me – no matter what!
In today’s first reading, Romans 1:1-7, we find St. Paul writing a letter to the Christian community of Rome. Paul did not personally know this community but he wanted to win their friendship and support for his projected missionary work in Spain. Paul speaks from his heart. He is a man of passion, fiercely devoted to Jesus. He began as one who savagely persecuted the followers of Jesus. Experiencing a profound conversion, he gave himself totally and unreservedly to developing an ever deeper relationship with Jesus and spreading the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Paul’s commitment to Jesus had no conditions. It was total, total as ours needs to be.
He greets the Christian community with the words, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus.” He wishes them “grace” that is the fullness of life, the fullness of life that only a personal relationship with Jesus can offer. He wishes them “peace” not as the world offers it but a genuine peace that is borne out of a deep inner conviction that Jesus is Lord of life – my life – and nothing can eradicate that peace. Paul’s greeting was not only meant for the small Christian community of Rome, but it is also meant for you and me today.
Grace is available to us when we search for Jesus. Grace enables us to make the necessary choices in life that will bring about the fullness of life in us. A deep abiding peace gradually settles in us and transcends the internal and external chaos of our lives. We find ourselves sustained by an intimate relationship with Jesus.
In today’s second reading, Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20, St. Paul writes:
“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”
There are times when life can be a burden. Paul knows, and Paul says to you and me that Jesus gives us the strength that we need if we place ourselves in His Hands.
In today’s Gospel, Luke 11:27-28, Jesus reminds us that although words of praise are good; following through and taking the actions of love are crucial.
“While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to Him: ‘Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.’ He replied, ‘Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.'”