2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Ps 112:1-2, 5-9
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”
Good News Reflection: What are you doing with your treasures?
Saint Lawrence, whose Feast Day we celebrate today, protected the Church’s money from the Roman Empire by giving it to the poor. When the greedy prefect of Rome demanded the Church’s treasures, Saint Lawrence presented to him the poor and the sick, announcing, “This is the Church’s treasure!”
In today’s first reading, we’re challenged to consider what is and is not truly a treasure for us. What do you sow bountifully? This is your treasure. It is God’s grace gifting you with a value that you are called to share with the world to help spread his kingdom.
We may think we need to hang on tightly to our treasures so that we won’t lose them, but that’s not what we really value. We share what we value. For example, did you ever go to a good movie and then tell others about it? Have you been sharing these Good News Reflections with others? See what I mean? We share what we value.
When we share the treasures of God, this is when it gets really exciting. The more generously we sow what he gives, the more we reap so that we can become even more generous. It’s Economic Principle #1 of the Kingdom of God.
Today’s responsorial psalm describes it as a “lavish” generosity. But it requires dying to self, as Jesus says in the Gospel reading. We have to die to our fears, especially the fear that if we give away our treasures like ordinary seeds, we’ll run out of them and reap nothing. We have to stop sowing greed and selfishness. We have to die to our desire to attach strings to our seeds (for example: “I will share my money with you — or the Church or whatever — but only if you spend it the way I think you should”). Imagine a field of seedlings with strings attached to a tractor to help them grow in the right direction!
My husband Ralph and I first learned the joy of God’s Economic Principle #1 way back in 1979. We were selling our house so that we could move to a job in another state. After hearing about a man who needed a car so that he could work, we gave him a car that we’d been hoping to sell for $200 (a huge value to us at the time). After giving the car away, we sold our house for $2000 more than expected!
Ralph and I have been sowing treasures ever since. It’s not always easy. The harvest we reap is not always what we expect or desire, but it’s all a blessing to God and from God. Whether it’s financial donations, or time, or talents, or prayers, or a listening ministry, or comfort for the afflicted, or a smile when we don’t feel like smiling, it’s a very valuable treasure. And it’s meant to be shared.
We are full of treasures, no matter how poor we are, and when we share them with others, we realize that we ourselves are a gift that God has chosen to share. We are some of the Church’s most valuable treasures! What are you doing with the treasure that is you?
Lord: You know how attached to myself I am! Today I surrender that to You, knowing that You will take it and You’ll become stronger in my weakness. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica