Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
October 17, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are all about riches. How appropriate that seems in a world where we’re always trying to get a little bit richer!
Take, for instance, our “lottery mania”. Whenever there is a big national jackpot, I like to think what I might do with the prize money. Don’t you?
(Of course, my Dad always told me that the first thing you have to do is buy a ticket — which I usually fail to do!)
News bits will often show interviews with John and Jane Q. Public, informing us of how they might use such winnings. Of course, all describe an amazingly altruistic response to a winning ticket. It seems everyone will help her unfortunate brother-in-law, and buy his mail carrier new shoes. Hmm? I wonder?
Not so with Gospel Farmer today. He hits the jackpot in the fields and, as many of us might, decides to keep every last grain for himself. Oops! On the night of that decision, he dies, leaving the grain behind along with his selfish legacy.
Jesus tells us:
Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.
Paul tells us what it does consist of:
God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us,
… brought us to life with Christ,
raised us up with him …
We are to live among one another as mirrors of this Divine kindness and richness — not holding on to every last – very transitory- grain of our “possessions”.
Friends, every one of us, through our Baptism, already holds the winning ticket to the only treasure that lasts – eternal life. May our lives reflect that immense grace in deeds of love and mercy.
Poetry:The Summer Day – Mary Oliver
Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean — the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down — who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Music: Earthen Vessels – St. Louis Jesuits