I’ve fallen behind, but its not been forgotten! I guess these are more for my own sake, but still, I wanted to publish them.
Dinero – Sunday Reflections 9.19.10
Reading 1 Am 8:4-7
Responsorial Psalm Ps 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
Reading 2 1 Tm 2:1-8
I didn’t have any brilliant thoughts this week other than the fact that having a younger priest who enunciates and speaks into the microphone slowly does wonders for your Spanish listening comprehension!
“No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
I’ve always taken this verse very literally, maybe because I know my tendency that once I start buying things, I just continue wanting more things. Having the things I think will satiate me, never do. If I buy a new shirt, I’ll want new pants, and then none of my shoes will match so I’ll want more, more, more. Being both graduate students, we weren’t rolling in the money but as engineering students we were both on scholarships to cover costs and we both save like its nobody’s business. We have everything we need and what we ‘want’ I feel like we recognize as such.
I have felt that we’ve been blessed because we do tithe X% at church each week, we decided at the beginning of our marriage that if we didn’t start giving back when we had no money then the chances of us just suddenly deciding to start giving back when we’re older and ‘made more’ were slim to none. Our ‘needs’ list is understandably small when we realize all that we have. It allows us to be less attached to our money, like an exercise in generosity. I don’t know if its had a direct impact on our money so much as that by giving away part of our money, it makes us value the money we do have to a greater extent and helps us not spend needlessly. I hope we can continue to give more in the future, because I know I’m far away from not being attached to our money and the things/experiences it buys, but, we’re trying. This weeks Gospel reading is always a good reminder.
The Message – Sunday Reflections 9. 26.10
Reading 1 Am 6:1a, 4-7
This week we went to Mass and there was another older priest who didn’t enunciate very well again (deflect the blame…) and I spent most of the homily staring at the beautiful church. Fortunately, this church also had missals in Spanish (hurray!) so I was able to follow along. Reading the Gospel in Spanish, I realized I couldn’t recognize it and was afraid that I was misinterpreting it. Turns out when I went home and read it in English, nope, this was just an intense verse. Basically the story of Lazarus the poor man and the rich man, who goes to Hell when he dies and doesn’t understand why. When he sees Abraham in heaven, he wants him to go warn his family before they suffer the same fate, Abraham tells him: “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead”.
I think of how we all want special signs, proof that what we’re doing is right. It reminds me of that joke about the man drowning in a flood who keeps praying for God to come save him. He turns down all the help who comes to him saying, “No God will save me!” And when he dies and gets to heaven he asks God where he was and God answers, “What do you mean? I sent all those people to help you!” Sometimes the answer is there, just what will it take to believe it?
What also came to mind was Elizabeth’s post from over a year ago when she discussed transubstantiation and her troubles accepting it before she became Catholic. She learned all of the reasons why the bread and wine became Jesus, read the verses where Jesus’s lives out the last super and says this, but still, her heart held back from believing it. It was this quote that finally let her heart believe:
“Is there anything that could make you believe in this?” Because really, if you refuse to believe something that Jesus actually said, then there’s probably no argument that could be made that would change your mind.
I understand the need for the mind to comprehend how something happens. To me, faith is not blind acceptance of things based on a feeling. Faith should go hand in hand with reason and fill in the gaps to understand mysteries that may be beyond our comprehension. We could get all the signs in the world, but really, what is it that we really need?