FROM THE PULPIT
"As I watched David kneeling there in the ashes," she says, "I was overcome with the certainty that we were meant for each other. There, in the face of our greatest tragedy, our first thoughts were not of our material loss but of the potential loss of these precious parts of our life together. As I knelt to help him with the letters, I was certain that we hadn't lost anything that mattered after all."
What really matters in our life? This is the question that is raised in the story that I just shared with you and also in the Gospel this evening. The last line of the Gospel has become a well-known maxim, usually stated wealth or possession. Sometimes it is used as that in which we put our trust, almost in the sense of a god. The maxi really asks, which God do we serve? The answer to that question determines whether or not we share in everlasting life. The context for this gospel, then, is final judgment; the end is near and so we do anything necessary with prudence and decisiveness in order to be saved. Moreover, prudence and decisiveness about “mammon” is related to which God we serve. The more we keep our eyes focused on God, the easier it is to keep the things of this world in perspective. “Mammon” is a necessary part of this world. The choice is always to use it with a longer view in sight—eternal life. The “full account” of our stewardship will not be a matter of spreadsheets and ledgers. It will be a matter of how well we have been faithful disciples; how well we have consistently kept our life focused on God as the center.
What kind of “gods” do people fall into serving these days? Well, we can point to money as a “biggie” which can become the root of all evil. I remember as a child always hearing my family speak of people with money sometimes with such anger in their tone of voice. Of course it was understandable since my family who in the old country were poor, they experienced time and time again in which wealthy people usually had an abundance of things which is not evil in themselves but with this abundance they would never share with those that were in need around them. We read in scripture in which Jesus commands, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” That is what we are to always to keep in mind my dear brothers and sisters. We do not belong to the world in a sense because the world is empty in itself. We were created and will return to God so why would we put our focus on things that are temporary? Yes, we are constantly reminded that we must be independent; to make lots of money, do whatever we want because these things will bring us happiness. Almost to say why would you want to follow a “god” that takes work at and really can’t bring you the things that you should have.
When I was in Ecuador this summer and experienced the physical state of the place I was staying at, it just brought sadness to my heart because you were seeing these people who were living in such poverty. These people taught us something, they taught us that were not poor but were rich indeed. Yes, they weren’t rich in the material sense of the word and lived day by day not really knowing if they could feed their families, and far from their minds of ever buying the latest gadget or a new car but they felt they were rich because they had God in their lives. They knew what really mattered and what was going to bring them through each and every day. They knew they were serving the one that would truly give them that “reward will be great in heaven.” that we find in Gospel of Matthew.
A couple of weeks ago, Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict traveled to Austria and in homily at the last Mass he celebrated on this apostolic trip he focused on the importance of Sunday Mass and how to important the Mass was to the early Christians not necessarily because of precept but because they found it a necessity, so the Holy Father asked the question in his homily, "Does this attitude of the Christians of that time apply also to us who are Christians today?" The Holy Father answered: "Yes, it does, we too need a relationship that sustains us, that gives direction and content to our lives."
So my brothers and sisters to begin to serve our God is of course to be faithful in attending the Sunday liturgy which is the most important prayer of the church and the center of our faith in which we shouldn’t come because of a law but we find it a necessity in our lives. Also we should make it our obligation to encourage others such as our families and friends to also come and celebrate and also encourage them that we are all to serve God and not things that we find are important in our lives and supposedly will bring us happiness. So let us remember the words we heard from St. Paul to Timothy so that all can experience what truly matters in our lives, “that in every place... men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.”
 Living Litrugy, p. 215