"I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." Lk 19:27
As we near the end of another liturgical year, the church offers us scriptural texts that help us reflect on the the year that is fast slipping away. How have we used the gifts we received? Have we spent them to help build God's kingdom? Are we richer for having given them away?
For those of us raised during the Second World War and as children of parents who experienced the Great Depression, fear was a constant companion. Supplies of meat, butter, sugar and gasoline were very limited and were used sparingly for fear there would be nothing for tomorrow. Sometimes forgetting this, the children of friends often tease their parents for shopping at BJ's or Sam's Club and buying 50 rolls of paper towels when they only use one roll a week.
When young people snicker at their parent's habits, they fail to acknowledge the fear their parents often carry, even after fifty years of relative prosperity. Fear leads to hoarding and lack of trust in a system that failed to protect the poor. Fear leads to shopping for bargains all the time even if the store with the best prices is 25 miles away and the cost of travel wipes out any saving they might realize from the bargain. And it was fear that got in the way of the leaders of the Jewish people trusting Jesus and following him.
When Jesus suggested that he did not need a place to lay his head or a bank to protect his wealth, the Jewish leaders thought he was insane, and their fear of his growing power got in the way of their hearing the gospel. Unless we learn to trust God in all things, knowing that we are worth more than many sparrows, (Mt 10:31) our fear will allow us to cling to our possessions and justify our greed.
Today ask yourself how you can give the gospel away in a way that will attract others to do the same?
Which of your fears gets in the way of living the Gospel more simply?