“Then someone said to Abraham, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. ‘Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’” Today throughout most, if not all nations, we find societies deeply believing in the old phrase, “Greed is good.”!!! Wow! Millions of Americans are disenfranchised from the so-called greater wealth and concentration of power here in our society. In the ancient days, and far more than simply once, the ancient Jewish people turned toward wealth and away from God. This was made most clear when the Jews built the Golden Calf! Gold! Gold! Gold! Apparently, they and all too many of our modern citizens subscribe to that old “Golden Rule”, “He who has the gold rules.”. I beg to differ with such a false assumption. But this is now the well- established and widely accepted foundational principle to which our modern society subscribes.
Wealth, fame and fortune are all fleeting! They come and they go! They can help destroy a just society by chipping away at the so called “common good” which must be the cornerstone of any fair, just and democratic society. However, the Gospel of Jesus time and again reminds us that we as individuals and as a society should seek to live out the Gospel by putting our faith into action. Our own lives are pure unearned God-given gifts. Our Lord will never judge a person based on their asset/liability ratio. Never! This is simply a man-made way of establishing who might be considered to be more successful than some other person. It’s all a game. In the end, rich or poor, we will die and in dying, we will take none of our acquired toys with us. Like the poor homeless man who dies, the well connected, rich and powerful will be laid to rest. Five or ten years from that burial day, society will go on not, knowing anything about that rich or powerful person. Rather, society will always be indifferent toward that so-called successful person. Time continues to march on!
Today, we as a Church are at a crossroads in our institutional decisions as to the modern American Church. Cardinals and bishops, priests, deacons, monks, and religious sisters and brothers, all of us MUST rely on the Catholic laity to help us rebuild our national Church, the faith of our modern Catholics and the quality of a Catholic education for our younger Catholics. You can place your lifelong efforts and goals in the Almighty Greenback. Or, in part, you can use your own time, talents and treasures, and stoop down, in a life spent helping to strengthen, renew and build up the Church, and thus the kingdom of God here at hand. This is simultaneously a Divine invitation and a real challenge. What is your lifetime really about? Have you time to give unto the Church, the Body of Christ, and the people of God? I think you do. I think, if you are brutally honest with yourself, you too will humbly realize just how blessed you are, and that indeed there is much work to be done in our Lord’s vineyard. Come closer to our Lord. Live out the Gospel. God grants you life. What do you give back to our dear Lord? How do you put your faith into action?
-Father Michael Briese