Friday, July 30, 2010

Be Both Wise and Happy

The other day on the radio, I heard that many of us are not saving enough money for retirement. We are spending but not saving. In short, we are very foolish, for the day will come when we find ourselves in a financial crunch. We are very unwise.

In today’s Gospel, we hear the story of a rich man who does just the opposite. He saves and he stores away tremendous wealth for the future. Yet Jesus calls him a fool. He is a fool because he saves his wealth for himself only. He was selfish. He should have spent some of his wealth on the poor and the needy. Had he been generous with his wealth, he would have been storing up riches in heaven. He would have been a wise man and a good steward of God’s gifts.

Let us pray for the grace to become better stewards of God’s gifts. Certainly we have to save for our future financial needs and not waste money on frivolous pleasures. But we also need to be generous in giving of our time, talent, and treasure to God. Then we will be both wise and happy.

- Fr. Carl

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Appreciate the Giver

Near the end of World War II, my father’s ship was in Shanghai, China for some time. One day he came upon a beautiful cedar chest with all kinds of figures and scenes carved into the wood. When he approached the man who carved it, the man asked for more money than my father could afford. So each day my father went back to bargain, and each day the price dropped a little. Finally, after a week the price came down enough to where my father could afford it, and he bought it. His persistence paid off.

Today’s scripture lessons teach us a similar lesson with regard to prayer. Abraham’s persistence delayed the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham’s bargaining with God would have spared these two cities from destruction if only 10 good men could be found. Unfortunately, there were not even 10 good men, and those two cities were destroyed. In the gospel, after Jesus gives his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he reminds his disciples to be persistent in their prayers. Basically the God to whom we are praying is a loving God who wants to give us what is good for us. However, he wants us to appreciate what he gives, and if we get what we want too easily, we neither appreciate the gift nor the giver.

-Fr. Carl