Friday, July 30, 2010

Ur Sunday Dose: Does Money Really Matter? (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

August 01, 2010
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lk 12,13-21


I remember somebody who has been my friend once. He was a son of a very rich family, very rich because they hold one of the biggest fishing consignacions here in Navotas. They always have good food on the table, latest gadgets, and everything my friend wishes, his parents would grant it. However, it is only I who could bear his attitude. He has only a few friends because he was very selfish. He does not give to those in need, in fact he ridicules them down to their bones. Everytime I borrow his iPod, he makes sure that I would only borrow it inside their house, and not to take it outside for fear of theft.

At times, he would realize and ask himself why he has only a few friends. I always tell him, “kung gusto mong dumami ang mga kaibigan mo, dapat mas lalo kang maging bukas sa kanila. Ikaw naman kasi, iniisip mo lang ang sarili mo, pinagmamayabang mo sa akin, sa amin, yang mga bagong gamit mo, pero ni piso hindi ka makapagbigay sa namamalimos. Nanlalait ka pa! Malaki nga bahay nyo, sagana ang huli, pero hindi sa lahat ng panahon, ganoon. Matuto kang magbigay sa kapwa mo. Huwag kang magmataas. Bahala ka.” I gave all my effort to persuade my friend, but all in vain.

One night, when everybody’s sleeping, somebody stole all their riches hidden inside the family vault inside his parents’ room. His family was totally shocked of the event. His mother had the gravest shock, she had nervous breakdown. His father tried to cope up with the situation, but because of the ban in the Pacific Ocean, the situation worsened and the father cannot cope up already. The house was sold out, including their gadgets. Debts turned the situation even worse. As far as I know, they are already living in the suburbs of Tondo. The last time I talked to him, he told me that he is really ashamed of himself. “Nakinig na lang sana ako sa iyo, naging mapagbigay sana ako, kami. Di sana nangyari ito. Ngayon, alam kong pinarurusahan kami ng Diyos dahil sa mga kamalian namin.” He said this in tears, though I know that those tears are already late.

Everything happened because (sorry for the term) they are excessively rich, and it had gone up to their nerves. They never thought of their neighbor, and continued to have possessions purely for their own personal perusal.

In the Gospel of the day, we hear Jesus telling his disciples the Parable of the Rich Fool. A very rich man had produced a bounty of harvest. He does not know what to do. Then, he tore down his barns and replaced them with bigger ones. He’d put everything in it, and began to eat, drink and make himself happy, knowing that he would have a reserve of aplenty for the coming years. However, God came that night and took his life. The end result: nobody took care of his harvest. Everything rot. At the end, Jesus said, “Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”

This is very evident in our day. People tend to be laxed enough with what they have for themselves. They, or WE, do not think of others anymore. Para bang makahawak lang tayo ng kaunti, parang wala na tayong kilala. We spend money on worthless things: imported bags, new cellphones, you name it, you have it. We have no time for others. We don’t care for them anymore. We always think of ourselves. We spend a lot for our own well being. Para sa ganito ko, para sa ganyan ko. Dapat, meron AKO nyan.

That’s where Divine Justice enters. Everything is swept away. It may be through the hands of a robber, or the sweet kiss of the flames. Worse, it may come on our own hands when we spend and spend, never thinking that what we have is carefully lessened. Makikita na lang natin isang araw, ubos na. And, like my friend who was once rich but is now poor, we tend to be sorry but it is too late. That’s our reality. That’s the cycle.

When we have something, it is but a test, to see until where are we loyal to God. It may sound odd, but this is true. Money and material things – they are just an aid for our well being, and for others. But as said, Ang sobra, nakakasama. Money is never to be considered as a god, though it rarely happens.

Hindi masamang magkaroon ng kaunting kayamanan, basta marunong tayong gumamit nito para sa ikabubuti natin at ng ating kapwa. When we have something, do not forget our poor brethren. We are given for us to give. Never be selfish. Never think for yourself only. The more we think of ourselves, the easier the money would be taken away. The more we give, the greater we would have.

Finally, there would be no greater message than this: No man is an island, no man is alone.


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