Sunday, August 05, 2007

Treasure in heaven (Sunday homily)

The readings could not be clearer.
So much of we think is important will fade away.
“Vanity of vanities…”

The stock market rises and falls.
Our physical bodies, will eventually fail.
“Vanity of vanities…”

Instead, as Paul encourages us:
Set your hearts on what is above!

I was talking to a brother priest the other day
and he was explaining about death to some schoolchildren,
and he said something striking:

So many of us are afraid of death—
But not one of us can escape it. So what?
Other than taking our bodies from us,
Death can’t hurt us!

Meanwhile, sin can hurt us—
It poisons and kills the life of God in us,
and that will separate us from God forever.

But we aren’t afraid of that!
Set your hearts on what is above…

We all know the saying—“you can’t take it with you”—
but it’s not exactly true.
No, you can’t take money, investments,
or even your CD collection, with you.

But there is one treasure you really can take with you,
and it is the most valuable:
Other people!

If we make it to heaven, the greatest joy—
beyond the supreme joy of being with Jesus Christ,
in the Love of the Father and the Holy Spirit—
will be seeing all those who helped bring us there…
and all those we helped bring to heaven.

And we will see the faces of people we never knew—
but who we prayed for…
We’ll see the child, whose mother we helped
when she needed food or shelter…

We’ll see those we had the courage to tell the truth to:

when we said no to what was wrong,
and whom we encouraged to follow the Lord.

We’ll see those who were able to grow to adulthood,
because we did our part to stop war and genocide.
The faces will be strange to us—
they will speak languages we never heard—
they come from every part of the world…

But they will be there…in part because of our help.
That is God’s Treasure, which can store up,
and never lose, but have forever.

We get a glimpse, and a longing,
for that Treasure at every Mass.
We hear God’s voice speak in the Mass—
Calling us back to Faith, back to what really counts.

The Eucharist is when we “donate ourselves”
to be part of that Treasure.
In all honesty, don’t come to communion,
unless you really are willing to sign yourself over,
lock, stock and barrel, to the Lord.

This is how we “hide ourselves with Christ in God.”
Jesus—united with his Body, the Church—
is the only Treasure that lasts.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Fr. Fox, that was a perspective on 'you can't take it with you' that I had not heard before and will treasure.

kms said...

I appreciate this blog post. My MIL died last month; we are still reeling from the effects. I will share this homily with my DH.

I only wish my MIL had been Catholic to be able to receive the sacraments.

MommaLlama said...

I always enjoy your writings! Keep them coming! Oh, and over on my blog I posted an award for you... I hope that my readers will spend more time over here reflecting on your writings!

Barb, sfo said...

Thank you for this, Father!
I was ill yesterday and unable to attend Mass. But I had the privilege of experiencing your homily--so I have something to reflect upon this week. Your description of the "communion of saints" is one that makes a lot of sense to me.

eileen said...

I also add my thanks for your perspective. As kms posted, we also have had a death in the family recently. My husband's father and mother have died in less than two years of each other. My fil just 3 months ago. It has been tough going through all their "stuff" and we are realizing how little comfort it brings to "own" it without them.