Monday, July 24, 2017

What Do You Treasure? - July 30, 2017

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
- Year A

Reading I:
1 Kings 3:5, 7-12

Psalm:  119

Reading II:
Romans 8:28-30

Matthew 13:44-52

In today’s Gospel, again we hear 
Jesus teaching by parables. He reminds us of how hard we are willing to work for what or whom we treasure. Therefore, it is very important that we chose our treasure well.

How many marriages have failed because the couple sets a priority of work or something else instead of the relationship between them? The importance of nurturing the relationship can be either be misunderstood or simply be neglected. Often, after the children are grown, the couple finds that they have nothing in common and that the marriage has disintegrated.  

On the other hand, those who have set their relationship as a priority can live long lives of devotion and happiness. Also, their children can observe and learn to cultivate their own relationships. Note the child in the illustration above, who is observing the delight in the face of the adult, and is learning the value of appreciating the treasure.

This can also apply to our relationship with the Lord. No matter what our calling, our relationship with our Creator needs to have the highest priority. When asked what was the most important commandment, Jesus responded: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

How many wars have been fought because priorities of power and
greed have taken over? When those goals drive human beings, peace and human rights become unimportant, horrible inhumane acts prevail, and wars devastate the land. Again, we need to be reminded of the second greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love Thy neighbor as thyself.”

If these priorities were honored, peace and justice would prevail. We would have no need to be concerned about our futures and those of our children. Let us make the effort to keep our priorities straight and struggle against our human tendencies to put self first. We can only do that by seeking the help of the Lord.

Psalm 40:18  expresses thee sentiments well: 
    But I am poor and needy;
    may Adonai  think of me.
    You are my helper and rescuer:

     my God, don’t delay!

N.B. Adonai  means “Lord”; ai is pronounced as “uy” in buy)

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...

¿Qué valoras?

En el Evangelio de hoy, de nuevo oímos a Jesús enseñando por parábolas. Nos recuerda lo mucho que estamos dispuestos a trabajar por lo que o a quién valoramos. Por lo tanto, es muy importante que elegimos nuestro tesoro bien.

¿Cuántos matrimonios han fracasado porque la pareja establece una prioridad de trabajo o algo más en lugar de la relación entre ellos? La importancia de nutrir la relación puede ser malinterpretado o simplemente ser descuidado. A menudo, después de que los niños son crecidos, la pareja descubre que no tienen nada en común y que el matrimonio se ha desintegrado.

Por otro lado, aquellos que han establecido su relación como una prioridad pueden vivir largas vidas de devoción y felicidad. Además, su los niños pueden observar y aprender a cultivar sus propias relaciones. Observe al niño en la ilustración de arriba, que está observando el deleite en la cara del adulto, y está aprendiendo el valor de apreciar el tesoro.

Esto también puede aplicarse a nuestra relación con el Señor. No importa cuál sea nuestra vocación, nuestra relación con nuestro Creador debe tener la más alta prioridad. Cuando se le preguntó cuál era el mandamiento más importante, Jesús respondió: “Amarás al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, con toda tu alma y con toda tu mente”.

¿Cuántas guerras se han librado porque las prioridades de poder y
La codicia se ha hecho cargo? Cuando esos objetivos impulsan a los seres humanos, la paz y los derechos humanos no tienen importancia, los horrendos actos inhumanos prevalecen y las guerras devastan la tierra. Nuevamente, necesitamos ser
Recordó el segundo mayor mandamiento: “Amarás a tu prójimo como a ti mismo”.

Si se respetaran estas prioridades, prevalecería la paz y la justicia. No tendríamos necesidad de preocuparnos por nuestros futuros y los de nuestros hijos. Hagamos el esfuerzo de mantener nuestras prioridades recta y luchar contra nuestras tendencias humanas para ponernos en primer lugar. Sólo podemos hacerlo buscando la ayuda del Señor.

Salmo 40:18 te expresa bien los sentimientos:
    Pero soy pobre y necesitado;
    Que Adonai piense en mí.
    Usted es mi ayudante y salvador:
    Dios mío, no te demores!

Nótese bien Adonai significa “Señor”; “Ai” se pronuncia como “uy” en la compra)


  1. Sr. Therese MW. SBSJuly 25, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Yes! The Two Great Commandments of Love definitely are basic in our spiritual lives. Our Catholic Catechism reminds us that "The Decalogue must be interpreted in the light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the law."

    We note that the Gospel for this Sunday focuses on references to the kingdom of heaven. The following excerpts are from a homily by Father Charles Irvin:

    "Whenever we pray the Lord's Prayer, we pray to God: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH. ..."

    "Are you living in the kingdom? Do you sacrifice your own personal comfort and convenience for the well being of those around you? Does it add to the sum total of the happiness of their lives?
    Are you like Zacchaeus before he met Jesus, or are you like Zacchaeus after he started to really live following his encounter with Jesus?"

    "If you are a savvy business person, you'll invest only in that which will last, and in that which will allow others to value you.
    If you know how to invest, make this investment, just as did the shrewd business man in today's gospel account. If you do, you'll live a happy, quality life, because you'll be doing God's will and living a life of real value in his kingdom."

    Father Charles Irvin
    Homily for July 30, 2017

    The following quotation is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    "If we pray the Our Father sincerely, we leave individualism behind, because the love that we receive frees us from it. The "our" at the beginning of the Lord's Prayer, like the "us" of the last four petitions, excludes no one. If we are to say it truthfully, our divisions and oppositions have to be overcome." (2791 CCC)

  2. Whenever I wanted to become better at something I sought out a teacher and a plan to increase my knowledge and growth in the area of interest. When raising my children I sought advice in developing parenting skills. My oldest son was diagnosed with hyperactivity when he was about four years old. I met a woman (a mother of 10 children) who reported success with her hyperactive child by putting him on the Feingold diet – I read up on it, implemented it, and sought her support in adhering to it. When I decided to become Vegetarian I sought advice on nutrition through books and medical reports and joined several on-line groups to learn how to prepare balanced and delicious meals. Most recently with my mother’s health challenges, I have been seeking sources of support - just the other day I participated in an on-line webinar on Caregiving and learned several useful tips. These are a few examples of how what we prioritize takes root and grows. Such commitment requires time and dedication, often necessitating that we let go of less important things to achieve the higher purpose.
    The key to enjoying God’s abundant life – His love, peace and joy – is keeping Him first in our lives. I treasure my relationship with God, which I seek to grow through following Jesus. I value connectedness with God, His Spirit within me, and with my fellow travelers on this journey through life. Every morning, over coffee, I spend time with the Lord –Java and Jesus! I get to wake up physically and spiritually at the same time. This is my favorite time of the day where I offer all my activities of the day ahead to God. I ground and center myself in His light and Presence and I am blessed with the awareness of the beauty of creation as the sun comes up and the birds begin delivering their lovely melodies of praise as they joyously chirp away. Time spent in stillness with the Lord is the most relaxing, healing and renewing gift we can give to ourselves. It is also a way to train ourselves to recognize and listen to that still small voice of love which is Spirit’s guidance.
    I cherish peace. My prayer for peace joins the prayers of millions of others who also yearn for peace. Daily I am reminded that I must be peace in my world. Thus, I ask for awareness and strength to be the presence of peace and healing in my interactions with others during the day. The Light of Jesus’ loving Presence shines upon us always even in our darkest moments. His Presence is so crucial to remember and to share with others because that Presence is our true comfort in difficult times. The more we nurture our relationship with God the more aware we become of our need to forgive others as God has forgiven us.
    Spiritual practices such as these are powerful and proven to lead to peace – beyond appearances of the world, and lead to recognizing our oneness with others. A contemporary teacher of spirituality suggests not only striving to see others as our brothers and sisters, but seeing them as our self. Sometimes our behaviors are cries for love; sometimes we are acting in love. This level of intentionality makes forgiveness and acceptance much easier and it makes life so much more enjoyable as grievances gradually fade away and spending time hashing the small stuff is no longer desirable.
    The more we prioritize our relationship with God the easier it becomes to see and to be the Love and Light of Jesus in the world. Maybe the Treasure we seek - the Kingdom of God - is already here!
    Pat C., ASBS