Nineteenth Ordinary

The Introduction 

Most of the folks we know aren’t bad people, by any means. They’re not hopelessly corrupted by greed, sacrificing their children to their own ambitions, or cheating on their spouses. Most people we keep company with are not cruel, careless of the poor, bigoted, or addicted to power for its own sake. But in the same way, most people we know aren’t what we’d call “holy” either. That is, their lives and choices aren’t centred on God and the desire for goodness above all else. But we probably do know some holy people, and they’re marvellous! They seem to breathe the Holy Spirit and seek God’s will as naturally as the rest of us seek our next meal. They’re wonderfully kind; not cynical or suspicious of others’ motives; not quick to criticise or pass judgment. They show mercy to people who don’t “deserve” it. They do good not because they’re being watched, but because it gives them pleasure to do it. We want to be like these people. As we watch holiness in action, our hearts ache for it.

Where have you seen holiness in action? How might you fall short of the example of holiness you see?

Sign up to become one of the “children of goodness”. Consider what you might say or do if you were in the presence of God, and then live as if that were always true. Which it is.

The Scripture (Luke 12: 33-34) Riches in Heaven

Jesus continued, “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank robbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being”.

The Reflection

What do you worry about in the middle of the night? Jesus wants us to know that he is in charge of our worry list. God means to care for those God loves. The problem is that we have a hard time trusting God with that list of fears we keep locked in our heart. We will give God permission to abide with us, but we keep the worry box securely locked. Jesus tells us to allow our treasures to be the things of heaven and not the earth. Whether or not we can afford a new roof, the fear of a misunderstood conversation, or even the prospect of serious illness can be surrendered to God and we can open the dark places of our hidden fears to Jesus, who tells us to never be afraid. In talking about the kingdom of heaven in such very personal terms, Jesus is claiming our hearts. We can only surrender to Jesus if we love him enough to give him those secret treasures that keep us from really trusting him. Now might be a good time for you to talk with your spouse, a dear friend, colleague, or your child about those things you fear. End the conversation with a heartfelt prayer to try and open your heart to a new way of life.

The Commissioning

You are a people ready for adventure!
We venture forth to risk life-giving experiences.
We venture forth to challenge clear evidence of injustice.
We venture forth to meet the needs of troubled loved ones.
We venture forth with Christ’s example before us.
We venture forth with God’s peace to secure us.

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