Voices of Faith

The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

The Gospel we hear today should make us a bit uncomfortable. This Gospel (Luke 12:13-21) challenges us to change our priorities. Some of us are constantly seeking happiness and security. But if we turn to television, radio, or social media, we are bombarded with commercials that promise to give us the “happiness” we seek. They promise to provide that happiness for us, but the ongoing thirst is not alleviated.

Think of soda commercials that claim to quench your thirst and bring you instant happiness just by opening the can. You can recall the magic pills that promise weight loss, thus bringing us “happiness” as well. There is also the “fulfillment of happiness” when you obtain a new phone or a new car. That “happiness” is temporary; it fades when an updated model
comes out.

There is nothing wrong with having any of these things. Some of them are necessary for our daily lives and provide us with a sense of satisfaction, but not true and lasting happiness.

The Gospel is challenging us to discern true happiness. This happiness is found in the little things of life. We can be filled with the newest and most technologically advanced products in the world but find ourselves empty inside.

It is the Word of God that leads us to the real fulfillment of happiness we are all longing for. His love for us fills us up and leads us to share that same love with others. The mercy that the Lord pours out upon us also satisfies this happiness because we know that nothing can separate us from Him.

The challenge for us to achieve happiness and store up treasures in Heaven is to be channels of His love, mercy, and compassion. It is to be present and truly listen to your family members when they come to you in need or seek advice. It is supporting someone with your prayers. In other words, it is being disciples of Christ to serve your brothers and sisters. As we are reminded by Saint Francis, “For it is in giving that we receive…”

God’s peace,

Fr. John