For those of our church community who are among our young people, pay attention to the world around you. Older adults by the hundreds, if not thousands can confirm what I am about to say. This world from day one tells us we need a fancy style of clothes, a new and expensive sports car model, a trip to some foreign land, a need to take our children to some world renown park; that we must actually see some new movie, own a house in this or that neighborhood or expensive zip code. The false gods of our modern materialistic society permeate our lives in every major mode of communication. Almost all of these false claims give us one major option—that is that some material thing, gain or option will give us happiness. Some people even claim one can enjoy a better public image or just plain good public relations. It’s true, we can tell half-truths. But, do we want to believe and live out our God-given lives in accord with half-truths, outright lies or false claims? No!
Inside of you, is a great beauty granted unto you and all human beings by none other than God. Inside of you rest great gifts, qualities and abilities—all granted by God! Sure, as human beings we work real hard to develop our skills, knowledge, abilities. When you stop amid all the hectic busyness of the day, and take time to both look around at the signs of God right in your midst, and when you look within and are brutally frank with your own self…it is then you might be humbled by God’s immense love for you and all humanity. Be attentive. Look around. Search for God. This search never ends.
So many of our saints and heroes throughout human history were born peasants, poor people and often poorly educated people. Their greatness was not rooted in their asset/liability ratio, their political powers, or where they lived. Rather, early in life they came to discover God’s great presence within the very depths of their being. They chose to live out their lives by living out the Gospel. They could have their good name dragged through mud, their good character assassinated in public, and even truly suffer as a result of others’ lies, innuendoes and gossip. They did this because Christ was the very reason they freely chose to live out each holy hour, each holy day and their holy lives.
Your greatest wealth is not economic in nature. Jesus made this very clear to the young rich man. No. Your greatest richness is not material in nature. Your greatest richness is the presence of our Lord within you. Take some time each day to pray; to pray in part in prayers of awe, thanksgiving and humility. Be humbled by the breaking of dawn, the divine artwork found in a sunset, or our Lord’s presence in the heartfelt wisdom often expressed in the simple words of a mere child. Welcome our Lord ever more deeply into your daily life. In the end, be humbled by our Lord and God.
-Father Michael Briese