By Fr. Roy Cimagala
“‘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.” (Lk 12,20-21)
These words of Christ can spring to mind a number of things that we have to give due attention to. One is that we need to realize that heaven or God himself is where we came from and where we are supposed to go to. Another is that while the things of this world are important to us, they serve only as means and pathways to go to God. They should not be considered as our end.
The immediate corollary we can derive from these points is that we should be careful in our involvement in the things of this world, since we have a strong, almost irresistible tendency to get swallowed up by earthly and temporal things. We have to develop the Christian virtue of poverty and detachment that would give us the proper attitude toward our earthly and temporal affairs.
In other words, when we have these virtues properly lived, it should be easy for us to leave earthly things behind, no matter how exciting, profitable, successful, etc. these things are, when the time comes for us to be recalled by our Creator and Father who wants us to be his image and likeness, children of his and sharers of his divine life.
Another consideration is that while we should be immersed in our earthly affairs, we should see to it that such immersion should actually enrich us spiritually, that is, lead us to God, or make our love for God and others grow, because the earthly things are precisely for that purpose. That is the law and disposition God has imbued in the earthly things that are made available to us for our use.
We have to see to it that love for God and others should always be the motive of everything that we do—from our thoughts and intentions, to our words, and to our work. It should also be the motive when we have to go through the different circumstances of our life, the good ones as well as the bad ones, our fortunes and our misfortunes.
We have to be wary of our tendency to get entrapped in our earthly and temporal affairs or when we fail to live love for God and for others in the different events and circumstances of our life.
We usually have the strong tendency to be motivated only by human and earthly values in everything that we do. We have to be more wary of this danger and do everything to avoid it or correct it.
As St. Paul once said: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10,31) Not contented with this, he again said: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col 3,2)
Everything that we discover and make use of in the world should lead us to ask ourselves whether what we are discovering are truly in accordance to God’s will, to his true designs of the world, and whether we can discern how they can be used to give glory to God, which is a matter of loving him and serving the whole of humanity.
We have to be wary of the danger of discovering and using things simply in accordance to our own understanding of them and also to our own interest only.