Last week, the world was certainly captivated by the birth of Kate and Will’s son. Like most babes, the little one is going to first speak in babbles and coos, and then comes his version of “Mummy” and “Daddy” (or whatever it is in British). Then before long, will come the two famous words: “No” and “Mine.” I would venture to guess that every infant in every language in every nation of every era has that particular speech development!
Sadly, many adults never outgrow that “No” and “Mine.” That’s the whole point of the First Reading and Gospel for Sunday. Paul also addresses that issue in the Second Reading when he speaks of our earthly desires, which are basically very selfish desires.
For mature citizens of the Kingdom of God, there can really be no word such as “mine.” There is not one thing we have gotten on our own … everything in our life comes to us through the labor of other people. Everything!!! All is gift of God to us. Yes, we can use those gifts to the best of our ability, and yes those gifts are meant to brighten our lives and in many ways to make it easier. But in the end, it all comes from God.
All that we have is meant to be shared. The real word for mature Christians is “ours.” There comes a point when I have enough for my well-being, and at that point, the commandment of love comes into play and calls us to share our excess with those who do not have enough for their well-being.
Very interesting days are ahead of the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Francis. With John Paul and Benedict, obedience and orthodoxy were the tests of whether or not one was an authentic Catholic. The major theme for Francis’ pontificate is already being revealed: care for the poor and the disadvantaged. Am I ready for that to be the hallmark of my Catholicity?
Be God’s smile for someone today!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.