Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The summer months pass slowly, especially when we look ahead to a vacation or celebration, but quickly when the start of school approaches or time away is drawing to a close. The start of time off from work or a special trip always seems distant and the days leading up to it seem to drag on forever. Back-to-school commercials seem to air earlier and earlier and that return to a more regimented schedule roars toward us faster than any of us would like. However it may seem our warm-weather days are passing, preparation is the key. No matter how distant that trip may seem, it is worthwhile to prepare. Knowing how quickly summer ends, we prepare so as not to be caught in a rush as August draws to a close. If preparation is a necessary component of our summer, how much more necessary is preparation for our spiritual lives?
In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus continues the teaching we received last week. With the parable of the rich man who stored up earthly treasure, the Lord reminded us that our spiritual preparation for heaven is of far greater worth than our material preparation for things here on earth. He follows this with a very simple teaching: be prepared not only for the things of this life, but for the next life, too. Our mortality, the fact that we will face God’s judgment at a day and time we do not know, is a sobering thought. But sober thoughts are not meant to be frightening. And so Jesus teaches us to store up treasures in heaven now, by our conduct, by our prayer, by our consistency in discipleship. The call to store up such treasures applies to all of us, regardless of our state in life, and is especially important for those who have heard the Gospel. This week, we might examine our hearts to see how we have stored up treasures – is our heart bound to things of this world, or have we stored up that treasure in heaven, preparing ourselves for the day we meet the Lord, ready to bring to God our righteous deeds, our daily praises, and our devotion?
Speaking of preparing and time passing quickly or slowly: I will be on vacation August 10 – 24. During that time, I will be driving to Montana and back with my friend Fr. Mike Novajosky, meeting my dad and a group of friends for a few days of fly fishing on the Boulder River. As I write this note, the exact itinerary for each day on the road is still being worked out. While I wouldn’t mind if we were slightly better prepared with an exact route, I know that by the time we actually leave, we will have worked out enough of the map to know what needs to be done. In my absence, Fr. Silva and Fr. Blatchford will take care of Masses and, with our parish office staff, keep things running smoothly. Please know of my prayers for you each day at Mass while I’m away.