Be Worthy of Trust

September 22, 2019

The Gospel invites us to answer the question, “who will trust us with true wealth?”   The answer is easy–God!   So often we not only lose sight of what is true wealth, but we lose sight that we are worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.  One of the great distractions of our lives which continues to sidetrack us is defining true wealth.

At one time I was assigned to St. Alexander Parish in Villa Park.  The parish was small, had a grade school and the houses were just like those in Berwyn where I grew up.  It was an easy place for me to be.  Everyone rolled up their sleeves and pitched in.  After my assignment was complete, I traveled to St. Anthony Parish in Frankfort.  I had never been that far south and was surprised by the neighborhood.  There were no alleys and things were more spread out.  Lots of growth was happening, but what surprised me was one day when I was jogging I noticed two trucks pull up to a house.  On the side of the trucks there was a logo for a Christmas decorating company.  I looked on as a team of people got out of the trucks and began to decorate the outside of the house, carrying a Christmas tree and boxes of ornaments.  I stood there in the freezing cold completely shocked.  Why wouldn’t everyone want to decorate their own house?   Who would want others to decorate their house?  Does wealth mean you don’t have to do things for yourself?

Growing up, decorating for Christmas was a time when we rallied as a family.  There was banter and conversation back and forth.  We all got into the action.  The same happened as we got older.  Our tradition as my parents aged was to decorate the outside of the bungalow on Thanksgiving morning before the Thanksgiving feast.  We all showed up, moved ladders, used old extension cords and experienced great laughter in the process.  One year I bought new lights and new cords, but I did not realize I bought some lights with white cords and some with green cords.  The ribbing I took that year was relentless, yet it is still a Thanksgiving I will always remember.  I was glad to be the reason why we could all have a good laugh.  Wealth came from the time we shared.  Wealth came from the realization of how we were responding to the new situations of having elderly parents.  Our parents were entrusted to care for us as infants and now we were entrusted to care for them.

To be trustworthy, one must understand the definition of wealth and how one interprets it.  What defines a person and their wealth has nothing to do with bank accounts. It has nothing to do with what they can afford and what they can’t. Rather it has everything to do with the dignity we see in another.  It has everything to do with honoring and respecting time that is shared.  True wealth comes from the differences one makes while walking on the face of the earth.

God has entrusted us with great wealth.  I tell every engaged couple, and sometimes remind them again in the homily at the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony, the purpose of the Sacrament is to get your spouse to heaven.  That is accomplished by loving and forgiving.  If you keep in mind the purpose is to get the other to heaven, your focus will always be correct.  God has entrusted us to get others to heaven.  We are to instill in one another the faith that God has instilled in us.  True wealth comes from knowing you have spent your time making a difference in the life of another.

Who will trust us with this true wealth?  God already has.

Reverend  John J. Ouper