This weekend’s Gospel selection[Luke 12:32-48] is the perfect sequel to last weekend’s message — it could easily be titled — Be Rich in things that Matter, II.
Where your heart is, there is your treasure —- where your treasure is, there is your heart.
A now deceased priest of our diocese use to say — Want to know what someone is committed to? Look at their date book [calendar] and their checkbook! While some of us heard this statement so many times we would roll our eyes as he began, at the same time, we knew there is truth in what he was saying.
We might say a lot about what is important to us —- but saying and showing can be two different things.
Some says his/her family is the most important thing to them in the entire world —- but, when looking at the time given to work or personal play [golf, fishing, hunting, etc.] versus the time given to building relationships or relaxing together —– there would be a noticeable imbalance.
In recent years, our nations universities have become more accountable for their statements about “student-athletes” with the publication of graduation rates. It is easy and impressive to say, “We are dedicated to making sure our student-athletes get an education.” Then –when less than 50% of athletes actually graduate — we wonder what is really important —– winning or preparing young men and women for life.
A parent says that s/he would do anything for his/her child. But, when asked how often they spend time reading to/with their children or how many parent-teacher meetings they attend, then we hear — well, you know with both of us working [or as a single parent] there just does not seem to be enough time to do everything that we want to do.
In truth: we do what we WANT to do — we find time for the things we really want to do.
So, let’s take a snapshot of the past six months ….. where have we spent our time and our energy? What has occupied our attention, or thinking, our concern? Who has been the center-point of my life?
Where have I spent my “extra money”? What has been the THING I have most wanted to get? Are there things I bought — and later regretted buying? Were there things that I later said, “I really did not need that!” Has a fair share of my wealth been shared with my local church? with people in need? have I been willing to give time to people who needed some extra attention?
Over these six months: where has my heart been? if someone from the outside reviewed the video of my life — examined my date book and checkbook — what would they judge my treasure to be?
OK: there are other words of challenge in the Gospel — to whom much has been entrusted, much is expected. So, Bill and Melinda Gates are expected to do a little more than you and me. Warren Buffet has greater resources than me — and should do a little more. BUT, JUST MAYBE I have been given a little more than the person next to me and thus, these words ARE MEANT FOR ME. You and I might be THE PERSON(s) for whom this is meant —- I am wondering if there is more that I could be doing — and the Lord is saying — well, let’s review the blessings you have — and, with these blessings, this is what you can think about offering.
The heart is often thought of as the place where emotions reside — having “no heart” means we do not care, that we are cold. A person who is “all heart” is thought of as being generous and concerned about others.
So, we are called to have a “heart check” this weekend — the shape of our heart determines the pulse of our life. The health of our heart determines whether our treasure is one for this world — or one that will surpass this world and live forever.