August 7, 2022 – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080722.cfm)
Once in a dream, a rich man found himself at the heaven’s door and welcomed with VIP treatment by two nice angels. As he was about to be brought to his house in heaven, he was fetched by a long white limousine with all the amenities, and was driven through a high-class subdivision. Along the way, he saw that his once-poor squatter neighbors are now living in big nice houses in heaven. Like, his laundry woman resides in a nice cozy house, his gardener has a big lawn, his former driver lives on a bungalow, and his maid now lives on a condominium. Thinking these poor neighbors have made well in heaven, he also thought that his home in heaven would be a big mansion, since he has been their master and better off than them.
As they arrived, they stopped in front of a very big nice mansion. The rich man, however was led thru the mansion’s side gate, and eventually into cardboard box shanty at the back of the big mansion. The angels then said: “Welcome to your home in heaven”. He was so disappointed and disgusted to a point that he yelled at them, “What? A cardboard box shanty? I don’t deserve this.” The angels replied, “Sorry, Sir, this shanty is only what we can prepare for you from the materials and contributions you have sent here”.
Deep inside, yes, we do long to be reunited with God. We hope, and it is our heart’s desire that one day we will be one and at home with our Heavenly Father sharing with Him eternal life in our heavenly home. But while we are still here in this earthly life, like that rich man and that foolish maidservant in our gospel, it is easy for us to enjoy and be contented – or be more anxious and occupied with life here and now that we tend to forget what we really hope and long for in life.
Because of our life-concerns in the here and now, it is easy for us to be more confident only with ourselves, forgetting God, even acting like-God, doesn’t anymore care of others except oneself, and fully enjoying the pleasures of earthly life. Meaning, we become more concern and greedy in amassing earthly treasures that we don’t anymore recognize and value heavenly treasures.
Here in our gospel today, Jesus reminds us of what really matters to God and the true treasures in life, and that is our life to be with Him – our everlasting life with Him in God’s Kingdom. He challenges us to “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven”, that is, to seek and strive for the true treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” This would mean that, rather than amassing earthly treasures in life, we must value and be concerned in preparation about our heavenly treasures in the here and now.
As we are still living on this life while hoping for eternal life, our nearest experiences of heaven here on earth are moments when we love and serve those who are in need, and when we trustingly fulfill what God entrusted and required of us in life. For he said, “much will be required of the person entrusted with much and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more”. Yes, God gives each of us a required-task to fulfill, an entrusted-mission to accomplish in life. And doing our part in fulfilling our life-tasks and life missions here and now, with love and service of others is our contribution in building up our home and treasures in heaven.
We are called Christians because of our faith in Jesus Christ. We are Christians with faith in Jesus Christ, not only because we recognize and believe in Him, but also because we long and hope for the fulfillment of His message and promise of God’s Salvation into our lives. And as we long for the true treasures in life – our heavenly home, let us be vigilant and prepare for the fulfillment of His promise and learn how to build up, nurture and share our faith and blessings with others.
As pandemic times compel us nowadays to think about the meaning & value of life, may we never separated from what is most important and valuable in life – our faith in God, and may we never be wearied in accomplishing our missions in life – building up our home with God. Amen.