A Life Without Possessions

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Readings for Today

Saint Jean Vianney (the Curé of Ars), Priest – Memorial

“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”  Luke 12:15

Imagine what your life would be like if you had no possessions.  Imagine that all you had was the clothing you wore and you went through life relying upon the generosity of others.  Though, at first, this may seem like an irresponsible way to live, there are some who are called to a form of this life for a sacred reason.  Those called to strict religious life are called to embrace the life of poverty, owning nothing themselves, for a reason.  The reason is highlighted in this Gospel.

Too often in life we become consumed with our possessions.  It’s true that material things can add “spice” to life.  They can be fun, entertaining, comforting, etc.  But the danger of becoming attached to the things of this world is that we begin to rely upon the pleasure they bring more than we rely upon the spiritual possessions which are of much greater value.  It’s not that material possessions are bad, in and of themselves; rather, it’s that the spiritual possessions God wants us to obtain are of infinitely greater value.

Most are not called to live lives of material poverty, but all are called to live lives of poverty in spirit.  This means that, though we live in the world, we are not to be of the world.  We are to keep our hearts attached only to the greatest treasures of life: faith, hope and charity.  When greed and love of material possessions draw us from these spiritual treasures, we must recommit ourselves to the discovery of their great value.

Reflect, today, upon any struggle you have with greed.  If that does not sit well with you and if you find yourself immediately trying to justify your attachment to material things, then you may need this reflection more than you know.  The Lord wants to give you so much more than this world can offer you.  Do not make the choice to become attached to that which is “cheap” from an eternal perspective.  Strive to embrace those true riches that will remain with you forever.

Lord, help me to always keep my heart set on the riches You bestow and to never settle for those things that can never fully satisfy me.  I desire the wealth of Heaven, dear Lord, not the riches of Earth.  Help me to live the spiritual poverty I am called to live so as to obtain all that You desire for me.  Free me from greed and selfishness and help me to find true joy in Your holy will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

Saint of the Day – Saint Jean Vianney

The Path to Holiness:
Becoming a Living Sacrifice of Love