Reflection: Monday of the 29th Week

stuff

Mass: Monday, October 19, 2009
First Reading: Rom 4:20-25
Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
Gospel: Lk 12:13-21

Clearly, to “believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” is much more than accepting the news that Central Catholic beat St. Joe’s last weekend. To believe in him is to have total trust in God’s loving care for us; willingness to save us from sin and death and to raise us from the dead. To be a Christian means that our security is in God and the risen Son of God. Today’s gospel is a mixture of a warning against greed and a warning to put one’s trust entirely in God and not accumulate wealth. This may be the most difficult demand of discipleship.

The need to acquire is inherent in human nature.  George Carlin satirized our need for things in his monologue about “stuff”:

I don’t know how you are but I need a place to put my stuff. You know how important that is. That’s the meaning of life. Trying to find a place for my stuff. That’s all, a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody’s got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there. That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time.

A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you’re taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody’s got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn’t want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that junk you’re saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff!

Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore. Did you ever notice when you go to somebody else’s house, you never quite feel a hundred percent at home? You know why? No room for your stuff. Somebody else’s stuff is all over the place!

Have you noticed that their stuff is junk and your junk is stuff? God! And you say, “Get that junk offa there and let me put my stuff down!”

Like the rich man in the Gospel, we readily collect “stuff” in order to make ourselves more secure, in order as we often say “to have something to fall back on.” The desire for security seems to be one of the most deep-seated traits in our nature. We want something or someone to hold on to. To trust ourselves completely to the God we do not see and not have something more concrete to fall back on is very tough indeed. The people who do it almost completely are the ones we call saints. We stand in disbelief at the sight of them. Most of us compromise quite a bit. Often it seems only misfortune, disaster and loss can teach us to trust totally in God.

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