Sunday 2 August 2020

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

Word for Today
Gospel of Luke 12:13-21

To treasurize

It is a terrible mistake!
It is presumption that offends our intelligence.
It is the most presumptuous and irrational thing that exists, the cause of much evil and death. We take it always and everywhere for granted, but it is the illusion that disactivates even our most elementary intellectual, spiritual and physical capacities.
We take it always and everywhere for granted: in our relationships, in our cars, in the supermarket, in our homes and families, in our religion. It is linked to human beings alone, no other living creature lives like this. It is the most persistent thought, even if at an unconscious level, and it is the most exasperated, common form of foolishness. We pass it on from generation to generation like athletes pass a baton.
It is the most colossal error: we think we are in control. We live and talk, think and act as if we were the masters of the world and of life. The mother thinks she loves her child, instead she is excercising control. The proof is that when the child goes off on his/her own the mother is upset. This is not love, it is possession and control! The same is true for the politician, for the lover, for the teacher, for work, this is how it is for everything with everything. 
While we think we are clever and intelligent, Jesus calls this attitude foolish. We think we are in control even of atmospheric agents, of peoples hearts, of their future, of our own future. We spend our lives subtly controlling those who have to control us to educate us, waiting to grow up so we can gain control of something we can never have.
We subject ourselves unwillingly to the control of teachers as we dream one day of regaining our freedom, but that day never comes because if we want to find a job the person or representative of the company who employs us  will take control over us. So people count the days to retirement because when they retire they think they can regain control over their lives.
Power, money, beauty, success make us feel like we are in control of our life; it is only a sensation, an illusion, a drug that disconnects us from reality. In this collective paranoia of searching for control that can come from having a lot of money, many are obsessed with winning the lottery or at the slot machiine. The confused and the weak who desire to have some control over their lives are easy prey to fortune-tellers.
Fool, Jesus says; the system is foolish and it denotes the absence of faith and relish in life.  Jesus, however, explains the origin of this foolishness and how to overcome it.
True foolishness is that in name of a control that we will never attain and which is impossible to attain, the mind instigates us to accumulate treasures for ourselves, literally to  treasurize for ourselves. This is the real foolishness.
Treasurizing in life, getting rich and enriching life in every way exploiting all of the gifts that God has offered us is wonderful and our aim in life. It is a cause of joy, satisfaction, gratification, peace and beauty. But treasurizing only for oneself is death and the greatest foolishness. Jesus proposes that we treasurize by becoming rich before God, sharing every gift for the good of others, offering our capacities and our gifts to the human community as much as possible gratuitously. It is the selfless gift of our gifts that makes us rich before God.
Trasurize every instant before God is wise and wonderful, brings health and peace to the entire person. But to do this we need to forget about gaining control over things and remember that all straining leads to fear and sadness. The gift of oneself liberates the mind and heals the body.