June 28, 2015 – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 1: 13-15; 2: 23-24; Ps 30: 2, 4, 5-6, 11-13; 2 Cor 8: 7, 9, 13-15; Mk 5: 21-43
In today’s Second Reading, St. Paul quotes Exodus 16:18: “Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.” On the surface this may seem confusing, but it bears a strong stewardship message for us.
One of the challenges of our society is the tendency to gather and to keep and to measure our success by possessions. Jesus told us over and over in a variety of ways that “possessions” are a major stumbling block in our journey toward holiness. Stewardship was once defined by a bishop as:
- Following faithfully
- Living responsibly
- Sharing gratefully
- Possessing loosely
This, in a nutshell, is what it means to be a good steward.
That is the message from St. Paul, as well. As difficult as it may be for us, we need to focus on others in service more than we should try to glorify ourselves through what we may seem to have. In particular we need to focus on the “possess loosely” aspect. That is more than material items, of course. We have a tendency to “hang on” to traditions, people, and other things that we view as “ours.” Pope Francis cautions us, “A heart occupied with the desire to possess is a heart full of this desire, but without God.”