Today's readings warn us how the excessive attachment to riches can lead us away from the Gospel message, as Jesus speaks about how our attachment to the earthly goods of this world can be an obstacle to us in attaining eternal life. For all of as Catholics, in our lives of faith, participating in charitable works of mercy as fruits out of our journeys of faith can really helped us realize what is most important in life. Whether we volunteer at the Manna House Soup Kitchen here in Yazoo City, whether we help someone whose home was damaged in either the tornado or in the floods, whether we visit the sick or the shut-ins of our parish community or the prisoners behind bars, works of mercy will help us experience God in a very real way in our lives, giving us the means to live out the values of the Gospel in our lives.
As you all know, I was up at the Benedictine Archabbey in St Meinrad, Indiana last week at a training course for new pastors last week. I always enjoy going to a monastery to pray with the monks, to be in their presence, to experience their spirituality. They have such a special vocation in our Church, devoting their lives to prayer and manual labor, living in community, and being an example of faith for the world. It is good for us to look outside of ourselves, to see how others lives out their faith, to see the different ways that God calls people to follow the Gospel values and to truly live them out in their lives. Just like giving of ourselves in Christian charity, going on a retreat or being exposed to other ways of living out the Gospel are all ways that can draw us closer to God and away from excessive attachment to the ways of our world.
So, as we come to God today for healing in our lives, for healing not only physically, but also spiritually and psychologically, perhaps we are asked to look at our lives in a special way. Perhaps we need to examine ourselves, to see who is really the God we worship in the reality of our lives. Do we place our trust in God the Father, or do our worldly goods or let other treasures rule our lives? It gives us a lot to think about. May we feel Christ’s healing presence with us in the sacraments we are about to receive.