READINGS: Â Wisdom 7: 7-11Â /Psalm 90: 12-13. 14-15. 16-17Â /Â Hebrews 4: 12-13Â /Â Â MARK 10: 17-27
HIS WORDâ€¦YOU ARE LACKING IN ONE THING. GO, SELL WHAT YOU HAVE, AND GIVE TO THE POOR AND YOU WILL HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN; THEN COME, FOLLOW MEâ€¦ HOW HARD IT IS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE WEALTH TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
my wordsâ€¦August 18, 2015 â€“ Tuesday was the Annual Clergy Day and Reunion of the Dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon in the Island Province of Bohol. Barely 20 minutes before the Clergy Reunion Mass, the Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran asked me out rightly to deliver the HOMILY for the Priestsâ€™ gathering and the gospel was the Matthean version of todayâ€™s gospel on the Rich Young Man. And by the vow of obedience, I gave my generous nod to my Bishop and delivered it.
And so I begin my sermon with introspecting punches: Who among us priests here are poor? Are we not all richâ€¦ in graces and blessings? Are our riches barriers of entering the Kingdom of God? Then I went on sharing our already 18-year old priestsâ€™ financial system and program called the SLA = Standard Living Allowance. In this system, we share our ministerial resources and centralized our funds and equally share it monthly among us priests including the Bishop as our monthly allowance (or salary as the legal term would call it) for 8,000.00 Pesos only. It may sound meager but we are happy about it promoting our priestly brotherhood and camaraderie (as our treasures) with a view to TRANSPARENCY in the managements of our Church Funds. For the past 18 years, there was no increase so far of that said monthly allowance. We learn the value of sacrifice and brotherhood with the Diocesan Curia managing all our other needs most especially our Health Care Program. Everybody is happy about it and we believe that with our shared riches and wealth we deserve the Kingdom of God.
Brothers and Sisters, wealth and riches are blessings from God that He entrusted to Adam and Eve; that He entrusted to us. They are always good. They become bad only when they become our â€œgodsâ€ replacing the real God who truly owns everything here on earth. God has entrusted us His riches and wealth to promote good relationships among us His creation and His children. Ours is stewardship not really ownership of the good things in this world. One proof to that is; we cannot bring them when we dieâ€¦ Our brotherhood, sisterhood,filial affinities, camaraderie, family life and good relationship are also treasures that we should enhance and preserve.
Brothers and Sisters, we are â€œstewardsâ€ of Godâ€™s wealth and riches in this world. Today is â€œIndigenous Peoplesâ€™ Sunday and Extreme Poverty Dayâ€, and part of our Christian stewardship is to promote and protect the rights and privileges of the Aetas, Negritoes, Tinggians, Mangyans, Manubos, Tausogs, Eskayans, and other indigenous Filipino people to ownership of the land and properties they are tilling and to also bring Christ to them. Let us help and protect themfor they too are our brothers and sisters. Let us continue promotingand enhancing good Christian attitudes and values in managing our riches, wealth, and treasures so that we too may inherit the Kingdom of God.
MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS US WITH HIS RICHES, GRACES, AND LOVEâ€¦ (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)