HOMILY THEME: Beware of all Covetousness; Be Rich to God.

BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu



_“All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” *Ephesians 2:3-5.*_

To be covetous is to live in a special world; a world of I, me and myself; a world where I care only for one person – me. To be covetous is to refuse to give others their due like the case of the man whose brother had to run to Jesus because he did not give him a share of their father’s inheritance.

To be covetous is to be like the rich man in the parable Jesus gave to us in today’s Gospel passage who did not know what to do with riches. The reason why Jesus called this man a “Fool” was that in his plan for the enjoyment of his wealth, there was no consideration of others.

The man said to himself: “What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops? … I will do this, I will pull down my barns and build larger ones…” In pulling down his barns, he was willing to waste forgetting that so many cannot even afford what he was about to throw away. To be covetous is to live in abundance (wastefulness) in a society where people can barely feed twice daily.

Note that Jesus did not say it is a sin to be rich. Jesus point of emphasis is the need for us to avoid covetousness which is the worship of wealth; trusting in riches; the belief that the more one has, the more his life would be and failing to be rich towards God.

What does it mean to be rich towards God? It is refusing to live according to the passions of our flesh or following the desires of the flesh and the senses. To be rich towards God is to live in a manner that acknowledges there is God. To be rich towards God is to place priority on the things that pertain to God over and above the things that bring about our material comfort. It is taking care of our souls rather than our flesh only.

Today, we remember St. John Paul II, Pope. His real name is Karol Józef Wojtyla, he was born in Wadowice, a small city fifty kilometers from Kraków, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932. His father, a non-commissioned army officer, died in 1941. The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939, and young Karol had to work in a quarry (from 1940-1944), and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany. In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Kraków run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Kraków. After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Kraków, once it had reopened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Kraków on November 1, 1946.

Soon after, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome, where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican Garrigou-Lagrange. At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium, and Holland. On July 4, 1958, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated September 28, 1958, in Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, by Archbishop Baziak. On January 13, 1964, he was nominated archbishop of Kraków by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967.

Since the start of his pontificate on October 16, 1978, Pope John Paul II completed more than 200 pastoral visits. No other pope has encountered as many individuals as John Paul II did: more than 16 million pilgrims participated in the general audiences held on Wednesdays. Pope John Paul II also demonstrated his pastoral concern by erecting numerous dioceses and ecclesiastical circumscriptions, and by promulgating Codes of Canon Law for the Latin and the Oriental Churches, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He proclaimed the Year of Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the Eucharist as well as the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, in order to provide the People of God with particularly intense spiritual experiences. He also attracted young people by beginning the celebration of World Youth Day.

Pope John Paul II died in the Apostolic Palace at 9:37 p.m. on Saturday, 2 April 2005, the vigil of Sunday in albis or Divine Mercy Sunday, which he had instituted. On 8 April, is solemn funeral was celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square and he was buried in the crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica. John Paul II was beatified in Saint Peter’s Square on 1 May 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, use me as your instrument in the mission. Use me completely and thoroughly that my life more than my words will proclaim your message to the ends of the world. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ephesians 2:1-10, Psalm 100:1-5 and Luke 12:13-21)



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