August 4, 2019
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
This Sunday, at the responsorial Psalm, we will repeat the words,
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
It is, once again, a good reminder that every day the Lord wants to speak to us through his Word and the events, both wonderful and difficult, that happen to us.
Are we willing to listen?
Or will we harden our hearts because we want to things our way so that they make more sense to us?
What is the Lord trying to say to us in these readings today?
They believed that the power, the possessions, etc. they had here on earth were an indication of the love God had for them.
They were also aware that they could take none of their possessions, wealth, or fame with them when they died.
As we think about the first reading, we come to understand why the author is saying that everything that we have here on earth is nothing but vanities.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus gives us a parable, showing us how useless it is to put all of our hopes and joys into the possessions that we gather up here on earth; we often think that they will give us the ultimate peace and happiness we all long for.
It is so easy to fall into the way today's world t thinks that possessions, wealth, and fame are something we need to gather up and hang on to because they will bring us ultimate joy.
What a lie!
St. Paul in his letter, reiterates the uselessness of finding lasting joy in earthly possessions.
He reminds them and us, that in baptism the old person died and has been raised up with Jesus Christ into eternal life with Him.
Remember, these early Christians were a minority, surrounded by pagans, who knew only the joy they could experience from power, wealth, possessions, passions, etc. here in this lifetime.
It is so easy to listen to the influences of the world today, like in Paul's time among the pagans, which said that possessions, material wealth, fame, power, etc. are the ways to find some sort of joy and happiness, but we know deep down that they cannot bring any kind of the lasting peace and that only God has for us when we die.
We all need to continually wake up to the fact that none of our earthly treasures can lead us to the joy of eternal life.
What are the treasures we get get here on earth, the things we do today, that are the rich treasures that will lead us to the peace of eternal life with God?
Here is one possible check list of treasures that will last...
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."