Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs – October 19, 2020

Reflection on Luke 12:13-21

“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

“But God said to [the rich man], ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Luke 12: 20-21)

“He who dies with the most toys wins” (bumper sticker)

“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:21)

Today’s Gospel reading confronts us with a serious question about how we approach our possessions and our affluence, indeed how we live our lives. As Christians, we believe our lives do not consist of possessions, and we distance ourselves from the rich man in the parable in today’s Gospel. But do we really? Isn’t it easy for us to fall into the trap of “more, bigger, better, faster” when it comes to possessions? Today’s Gospel operates as a check on our consumerism, and counsels us to keep our lives and possessions in perspective.

Perhaps it is fitting that today we honor several North American martyrs who kept their lives in perspective. They were missionaries in the 1600’s who ministered the native people of what is now upstate New York and Ontario, Canada, until they were captured, tortured and killed. They gave their lives for the gospel, and for the people they served.

Reflection questions:

  • What can we learn from Sts. John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues and their companions?
  • If our faith called us to give up all that we have, including our lives, how would we respond?
  • How can we live our lives to become rich in what matters to God?

Blessings, peace and perspective to you and your loved ones.

+Deacon Tom