18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2022
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church
Dear Church Family,
August is just around the corner and that means school, and everything gets back in order, but I still want to have a little more fun. Maybe a little more vacationing, getting together with family and friends, or just taking time to be a little ‘lazy’ or in my case, having the luxury of just being ‘old’. However, the message today is ’Don’t get cluttered with ‘stuff’. Stuff is our message today and it seems that everyone, including our patron, Augustine, had to let go of stuff that gets in the way of what we really want to be. We all seek a deeper, deeper union with God. I want to not only pray more, but also live that and let go of the things that keep me bound to earthly things. Lots of people, including myself, have too much ‘stuff’ and it gets in the way of our spiritual life.
The author of Ecclesiastes has this favorite saying, “Vanity of Vanities! All things are vanity!” (1:2). stuff is sort of vanity. It goes with what Jesus tells us in Matthew, “For what profit comes to a person if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” (16:26). So, it is a challenge to see if we can let go of, get rid of, and just be refreshed in a new way. Our challenge then is with the psalmist, who tells us to “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart” (Psalm 90:12). In the days that we have, let us gain wisdom in letting go of the things of this life and seeking the things that are above.
St. Paul says to the Colossians, “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly, (that is, ‘collecting stuff’) since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator” (3:6,9-10). Be a new self, be renewed, then you are all in Christ. As our gospel gives that very challenging Word, sometimes we get stuck on stuff and we collect and horde, and here we come to end of our lives before we can even use any of it. So, there’s the message of all the saints and all their struggles, as our own St. Augustine was and is our example. So, Church Family, enjoy this challenging message today, celebrating letting go of some kind of stuff and I will do that myself, too.