August 18, 2022

WORD ALIVE

FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

In today’s gospel, Jesus relates about the rich man who He said was a fool and selfish (Lk 12, 13-21).
The rich farmer in the parable could be a landowner, growing rice in Nueva Ecija or corn or mango in Cebu.

* * *
An abundant harvest forces him to tear down his existing barns and builds larger ones. With all his possessions snugly secured, he congratulates himself, saying “Eat, drink and be merry.” He has now security and protected from financial loss. And yet Jesus calls him a fool! Why?

* * *
The answer is: he was greedy. That’s why Jesus says, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy, but his possessions do not guarantee him life.” A greedy person before God keeps on amassing wealth and worldly possessions, thinking only of total material success and forgetting his eternal, spiritual security.

This is why Jesus says in similar words: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” (Mt 16, 24).

* * *
Although the complacent rich may be very vulnerable to greed and selfishness, by no means is it confined to them only. All of us can be guilty of it. Our materialistic and consumeristic society is such that it forces us to pursue money and material possessions, putting aside our spiritual need.

* * *
There is a story about a rich matron who died and went to heaven. St. Peter escorted her down a magnificent boulevard on which rows of mansions stood. The rich lady saw one house that was exceptionally beautiful and asked who lived there.

* * *
“You will be surprised,” said St. Peter. “That is the home of your ‘katulong’ (helper).” “Well,” the lady said smiling, “if my helper gets a place like that, I certainly look forward to having a more grandiose mansion.”
Soon they came to an ‘iskinita’ (alley) where the houses were cramped. St. Peter stopped and said, “Lady, you will live in that hut.”

* * *
“Me, live in that hovel! This is an insult. On earth I was rich and famous!” “I understand,” St. Peter said, “but this is the best we can do for you.”

“We only build your home up here with the materials you send ahead while you were still on earth.”

* * *
The materials we are supposed to send ahead are obviously not cement, sand and gravel but rather our acts of charity and not living a life of sin.

Jesus wants us to use our possessions here and now, but he also wants us, much more, to use them for our security to eternal life.

* * *
Her gift to heaven. Last July 24, a nun, Sr. Anesilde Grace Antonio belonging to the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS), was laid to rest.

She lived a life of simplicity and poverty yet she came from a wealthy family. Devoting her whole life as a missionary with her special talent as a dietician, she certainly was rich in the “eyes of God.”

* * *
When her sisters last visited her at the Holy Spirit convent, they asked, “What gift do you wish for your coming birthday?” She smiled and said, “My wish is that God will take me to heaven!” Her wish was granted after she succumbed to heart attack and was freed from a lingering, excruciating back pain.
Requiescat in pace, Sr. Annie!

* * *

Support future priests. One way of “laying up treasures in heaven” is helping our needy seminarians in their studies and formation this new school year.
Contribute an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling for one year. For inquiry, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

WORD ALIVE

FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

In today’s gospel, Jesus relates about the rich man who He said was a fool and selfish (Lk 12, 13-21).
The rich farmer in the parable could be a landowner, growing rice in Nueva Ecija or corn or mango in Cebu.

* * *
An abundant harvest forces him to tear down his existing barns and builds larger ones. With all his possessions snugly secured, he congratulates himself, saying “Eat, drink and be merry.” He has now security and protected from financial loss. And yet Jesus calls him a fool! Why?

* * *
The answer is: he was greedy. That’s why Jesus says, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy, but his possessions do not guarantee him life.” A greedy person before God keeps on amassing wealth and worldly possessions, thinking only of total material success and forgetting his eternal, spiritual security.

This is why Jesus says in similar words: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” (Mt 16, 24).

* * *
Although the complacent rich may be very vulnerable to greed and selfishness, by no means is it confined to them only. All of us can be guilty of it. Our materialistic and consumeristic society is such that it forces us to pursue money and material possessions, putting aside our spiritual need.

* * *
There is a story about a rich matron who died and went to heaven. St. Peter escorted her down a magnificent boulevard on which rows of mansions stood. The rich lady saw one house that was exceptionally beautiful and asked who lived there.

* * *
“You will be surprised,” said St. Peter. “That is the home of your ‘katulong’ (helper).” “Well,” the lady said smiling, “if my helper gets a place like that, I certainly look forward to having a more grandiose mansion.”
Soon they came to an ‘iskinita’ (alley) where the houses were cramped. St. Peter stopped and said, “Lady, you will live in that hut.”

* * *
“Me, live in that hovel! This is an insult. On earth I was rich and famous!” “I understand,” St. Peter said, “but this is the best we can do for you.”

“We only build your home up here with the materials you send ahead while you were still on earth.”

* * *
The materials we are supposed to send ahead are obviously not cement, sand and gravel but rather our acts of charity and not living a life of sin.

Jesus wants us to use our possessions here and now, but he also wants us, much more, to use them for our security to eternal life.

* * *
Her gift to heaven. Last July 24, a nun, Sr. Anesilde Grace Antonio belonging to the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS), was laid to rest.

She lived a life of simplicity and poverty yet she came from a wealthy family. Devoting her whole life as a missionary with her special talent as a dietician, she certainly was rich in the “eyes of God.”

* * *
When her sisters last visited her at the Holy Spirit convent, they asked, “What gift do you wish for your coming birthday?” She smiled and said, “My wish is that God will take me to heaven!” Her wish was granted after she succumbed to heart attack and was freed from a lingering, excruciating back pain.
Requiescat in pace, Sr. Annie!

* * *

Support future priests. One way of “laying up treasures in heaven” is helping our needy seminarians in their studies and formation this new school year.
Contribute an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling for one year. For inquiry, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

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