Recently, a sister suggested that I liked to spend money. And for some reason, I reacted with some passion. Why would that simple statement activate such emotion? That same week, I had a dream in which I was sent by our General Superior to a strange land with only a small suitcase and very little money. What was God asking of me?
This Sunday’s Gospel makes for difficult reading during the “dog days” of summer. It speaks of things we would rather gently put aside: simple lifestyle, almsgiving, readiness for the return of the Lord, faithful use of the time given us and warnings of punishment. Jesus proclaims freedom from material anxieties and radical trust in God, who cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and concludes with an exhortation to seek real treasures with God, for “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
The Gospel then continues with a number of sayings on the fragility of the future and the need for responsible stewardship by Jesus’ followers during his absence. Freedom from care and the desire for wealth and power, together with a heart transformed, are prerequisites for responsible leadership in the community.
The final line of this gospel is most demanding,”Much is required of the person entrusted with much”. We have been entrusted with much – furthering Jesus’ mission of bringing the Good News to all we meet. We are to be the presence of Christ continuing Jesus’ mission for the sake of others. We go with little possessions but with a heart filled with our one and only treasure – namely Jesus Christ.