What's Important in Life? Where is God in my day today?

Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions. We live in a culture of discontent… of dissatisfaction. Commercials tell us that new and improved products are going to bring us happiness and fulfillment. But so often they don’t. We are led to believe that we are entitled to the happiness and fulfillment that our consumer culture promises. Have it your way – and supersize it. You deserve a break today. Look at all of those happy people on commercials. (So many people today confuse fun and pleasure with happiness. Fun and pleasure are ok, but they don’t necessarily lead to happiness. And so some people have to ramp up the fun with some sort of artificial stimulant – drugs.)

What is happiness? What will fulfill us?

Response: If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.

Happiness: Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.

Jesus is the human face of God. Jesus came to tell us and show us God’s will for us. Jesus tells us what a human being is all about… what will make us happy. After all, God made us… God knows what makes us happy and fulfilled. When all else fails, read the instruction book. Let me tell you a story about a friend of mine. He was a business executive. He’s retired, and comfortably so. He is a prayerful man who tries to follow Jesus. He has gotten involved in a poor black section of the city where he lives. He began helping at a church center which serves food to the poor and the homeless. He doesn’t ask if they deserve food. He says: “Who am I to judge these people?” He sees that they need food. He helps. He lives what Jesus says, “I was hungry and you fed me.” That’s good enough for him. Because of his working with the food program he found out that a number of Baptist churches have a free health clinic for those who need it. He plugged into that and noticed that they needed a doctor so that they could hand out some basic medicines – only a doctor can prescribe meds. He talked to a doctor he knows and got her to come to the clinic once a week…volunteer her time to help.

Jesus said: “I was sick and you visited me.” That’s good enough for my friend. He got some help. Because of his work he has been introduced to a number of Baptist churches and ministers

and has been invited to attend their Sunday services. He says, “A couple times a month myself and my wife go to the Catholic Mass on Saturday evening, and to a Baptist church on Sunday morning. Myself and my wife are the only white folk in the church. The black people welcome us and make us feel at home. They even invited us to join their church. We passed on that. My friend has real gratitude for God’s many blessings to him and his family. He wants to share his abilities and gifts with others. He sees a need. He hears Jesus’ words. He does what he can.

He can’t solve the problem of hunger in our country. He can help feed some hungry folks. He can’t solve the health care problem in our country. He can help some sick folks who have very little health care coverage and need meds. My friend is a genuinely happy man. Peace radiates from him. Life has thrown some curves at him, but he trusts that he is in the hands of a loving God who will never abandon him. He trusts that God can write straight with crooked lines. His life does not revolve around possessions. He doesn’t always search after MORE. He is grateful for what he hasand shares it prudently with others. His life is not about himself and the golf game… it’s about serving others…and this gives him meaning and happiness.

Response: If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.

What About You and Me?

What about you and me? What makes us happy? As I examine myself I find that my ministry makes me happy…being with people and working with people. My friends and family make me happy…

I recently had a wonderful evening with my grandniece and her husband and kids. What an enjoyable healthy family. We talked about what the kids were up to – her son is leaving for college soon, her daughter looks forward to school and her volley ball team – she’s quite good! They recognize how blessed they are and give thanks to God each day. I have also been blessed with many friendships over the years. I have buried some of my friends, with tears in my eyes, yet rejoicing that I could help pray them home to our loving God. Each night I ask myself, “Where was God in my day today?”

“What do I have to thank God for?” There is always something I have to thank God for… Possessions are seldom on my thank you list. Then I say, “Did I mess up today?” Many times there are several things for which I ask God’s mercy. For what do you thank God? Health, a job, friends, loved ones? What brings happiness to your life? Remember what Jesus said in today’s Gospel: Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.

Response: If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.

As we continue with our Mass this day, we offer ourselves to God along with Jesus. We remember Jesus’ beautiful love poured out for us on the Cross. Our Holy Founder St. Paul of the Cross called the Cross an ocean of love. At Communion we invite Jesus into our hearts to abide with us. Then we can thank Jesus for our many blessings. What will you thank Jesus for?

Joe Farris