"If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above..." (Col 3:1). This is the call of everyone who is baptized into Christ. The call of every Christian is to seek what is above. Saint Paul continues in our second reading with a list of behaviors, actions and attitudes that distract and restrain us from seeking what is above, the Kingdom of God.
"Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self..." (cf Col 3:1-5,9-11).
The "old self" he refers to is the person I used to be before I knew Jesus Christ. It also means the person I was before the life of Christ was given to me at my baptism. But our baptized life must be renewed and lived each day.
Our Psalm this week likens it to the exodus (cf Psalm 90). Like the Israelites we have made our exodus, passing through the waters of Baptism, freeing us from our bondage to sin. But the people hardened their hearts against God even though they had seen all his works.
We can end up trusting in economics, politics, possessions, the flesh, our "things” and treasures, everything, except God. But all of this is "vanity of vanities” as our First Reading put it (cf Ecclesiastes 1:2,2:21 23)
“This is the greed that Jesus warns against in this week's Gospel. The rich man's anxiety and toil expose his lack of faith in God's care and provision. That's why Paul calls greed 'idolatry' in the Epistle this week. Mistaking having for being, possession for existence, we forget that God is the giver of all that we have. We exalt the things we can make or buy over our Maker (see Romans 1:25). Jesus calls the rich man a 'fool'—a word used in the Old Testament for someone who rebels against God or has forgotten Him” (Dr. Scott Hahn).
Father Jacques Hamel, who was martyred around this time 3 years ago by Islamic terrorists while celebrating Mass in St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France, often told his parishioners to "aim for sanctity," and " do not think that holiness is not for us."
Aim for sanctity. Seek what is above, all else is vanity.
God bless all of you, Father Robert Letona
Mass Intention Information: What if there are more Mass intentions than there are Masses during the year? Parishes are not permitted to "stockpile” Mass intentions. At the end of the year, all unfulfilled Mass intentions must be sent to the Missions Office of the Diocese of La Crosse. These intentions and stipends are then sent to the missions. This means three things: 1: that the Mass intention will indeed be fulfilled, 2. that the stipend will help support a priest in the missions because those missionary priests often do not have other means of support, and 3. that the People of God in these poorer lands are joining in prayer for your intention.