READINGS:Â Â Wisdom 18: 6-9 Â Â /Â Â Psalm 33: 1. 12. 18-22Â Â /Â Â Hebrews 11: 1-2. 8-19Â Â /Â LUKE 12: 32-48
HIS WORDâ€¦ DO NOT BE AFRAID ANY LONGER, LITTLE FLOCK, FOR YOUR FATHER IS PLEASED TO GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM. SELL YOUR BELONGINGS AND GIVE ALMS. PROVIDE MONEY BAGS FOR YOURSELVES THAT DO NOT WEAR OUT, AN EXHAUSTIBLE TREASURE IN HEAVEN THAT NO THIEF CAN REACH NOR MOTH DESTROY. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE ALSO WILL YOUR HEART BEâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦Every first Sunday of August is St. John Mary Vianney Sunday, a day dedicated to all our beloved priests for St. John Mary Vianney is the patron saint of all priests. The actual feast day of St. John Marie Vianney is August 4.Â So today, we greet our priests, â€œHappy All Priestsâ€™ Dayâ€ and above all, we PRAY for them…
Last Sunday, Jesus is warning His Apostles and disciples (and us), â€œTo take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, oneâ€™s life does not consist of possessionsâ€ (Lk 12:15). And today, Jesus said, â€œDo not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an exhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart beâ€ (Lk 12:32-34). What is Jesus saying here? Real treasures are in heaven and the treasures here on earth should lead us to the real treasures and not otherwise. And to attain these treasures, we should become slaves of God and NOT slaves of riches and material wealth. Jesus in the gospels showed poverty as a way to be real servants of God who are always ready to suffer for the people. And the â€œservantâ€ theme in the gospels is brought to its climax in Johnâ€™s Last Supper discourse when Jesus washed the feet of the Apostles (Jn 13:1-17), an action which can only be done by the lowest servant in the Jewish culture during that time. To be a servant is to be loaded with responsibilities and duties. Thus a faithful and prudent servant should always be ever-ready or â€œlaginghandaâ€ in doing and fulfilling his duties and responsibilities and not be abusive for â€œmuch will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with moreâ€ (Lk 12:48).
Accountability and responsibility make the world of a servant of God.
Brothers and Sisters, our Bishops and priests are all servants of God. In fact their â€œservanthoodâ€ is elevated by Jesus to a degree of â€œstewardshipâ€; the pastoral responsibilities entrusted to them by virtue of their Sacred Ordination. As servants of God, they dispense the sacraments for us and they function as real servants of God byâ€œthe power of Order and the power of Jurisdictionâ€. They are also stewards and trustees of Godâ€™s beautiful creation, and they are called to be responsible for it. That is why we really need to PRAY for our priests and bishops for the heavy responsibilities entrusted to them by God and His Church. And we pray that they be guarded also by God from all forms of temptations for they too can be tempted to make their hearts focused on material treasures and not on the treasures of heaven. Who then are the faithful and prudent stewards whom the Lord has entrusted to care for His people? They are our bishops and priests.
PRAY THAT OUR BISHOPS AND PRIESTS BECOME FAITHFUL AND PRUDENT STEWARDS OF GOD…
ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot