August 11, 2019 — Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
WIS 18: 6-9; PS 33: 1, 12, 18-19, 20-22; HEB 11: 1-2, 8-19 OR HEB 11: 1-2, 8-12; LK 12:32-48 OR LK 12: 35-40
Whether you are just beginning your stewardship journey or have been living a stewardship way of life for years, today’s readings invite us to ask ourselves two potentially life-changing questions.
The first questions is this: “What do you treasure?” Of course we all know the “right” answer to this question: we treasure our faith, our family, and our friendships. But Jesus tells us in the Gospel passage from Luke how we can discover the real answer to this question. He says, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
To bring to light what we truly treasure in life, we can each ask ourselves, “Where do I spend the majority of my energy? Where do I find my thoughts dwelling? How do I choose to spend my time when I find myself with a few spare moments? What do my spending habits reveal about my what is important to me?
As Christian stewards, we are called to live our lives in grateful response to all that God has given us. Do I recognize and treasure these gifts?
The second question today’s readings ask is this: “What would you do if you were not afraid?” To put it another way, “What would you do if you had radical faith in God?” The second reading from the letter to the Hebrews defines faith as “the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”
This passage inspires us with the faith shown by Abraham. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. By faith he sojourned in the promised land… By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age.”
Abraham was a senior citizen when he received the seemingly crazy invitation from God to take his entire household and head out to an unknown destination. He was an elderly man with an elderly wife and no heirs when God promised to give him countless descendants. Putting his faith in God, Abraham rose above all the fears and doubts he may have had and set out, following God’s call to him “for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.”
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us plainly, “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.” If our perfect Father is pleased to offer us nothing less than His Son right now, and Heaven eventually, then what on earth have we to be afraid of?
So, what would our lives look like if we lived unafraid? If we had the kind of radical faith that Abraham showed in ancient days. What ministry might I take on? Or, what projects might I pass up at work so that I can be more present at home? What is the risk God is asking me to take as an act of faith in Him and gratitude for all He has given me?
Later in this Gospel passage Jesus challenges us with these words.“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
There is so much to think about this week. Let’s ask ourselves what we really treasure, and then take a bold risk — faith-filled and unafraid — to show our gratitude to God for all that He has given to us.