Holy Family

Holy Family

Monday, October 17, 2011

Feast of Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Good morning. We live in an age of much confusion regarding the issue of success. I’m guessing if you were to ask most people to define success it would likely boil down to having money, position, and possessions. I know when I ask children that I see in counseling what they want to be when they grow-up their response more times than not revolves around being something which will enable them to make lots of money. Although I do remember once a little girl saying she wanted to be a smiley face when she grew up. We all tend to laugh at the thought of aspiring to be a smiley face, but she just might be onto something there. Today’s Gospel has Jesus telling us in no uncertain terms that it is a mistake to allow ourselves to become attached to things of this world. “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions.” Yet we do allow our lives to be driven by the lure of the good life, in fact I’ve come to realize that suggesting otherwise tends not to be politically correct. People very much try to avoid giving real thought to seriously living their lives for the Kingdom; the lure of a worldly kingdom is too much for most to seriously consider living out their daily lives void of attachment to things of this world. Our Saint for today, Ignatius of Antioch, however suggests we should “prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth.” Two extreme examples clearly demonstrate this worldly attachment. One is the trend toward having a future spouse sign a pre-nuptial agreement. If you truly have a relationship with money such as this, why get married? Why not marry your money? The second extreme example is that of abortion. How many of the 50 million abortions since 1973 have been performed for convenience, because the unwanted baby stood in the way of future plans or current opportunities? We know the answer. Now, another not so extreme, but rather common example is how many people miss going to worship God on Sunday because it interferes with their enjoying the good life? Well, according to the most recent edition of Our Sunday Visitor 51% of Catholics who attend Mass less than weekly list the number one reason for missing as being because they are “busy.” It’s a good thing God isn’t too busy for us. As Jesus repeatedly tells us, ‘our heart is where our riches are’ and to be truly happy, God must be the focus of our success. Perhaps we should all aspire to be smiley faces. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. “I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of this world I want only God‘s bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed from the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish.”

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