The richness that matters to God is generosity and service to others
Mass presided by Msgr. Simas

In today's gospel, Jesus tells us to take guard against all greed. Although one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions. Saint Augustine echoes that in the beginning of his confessions. Where he writes: you have made us for yourself, oh God. Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

As one commentator points out, material goods represent our time, our hard work, talents, and dreams. However, they can provide illusions of present control and future security. An increase in possessions can coincide with advances in education or personal development; these make it easy to regard material possessions as a concrete expression of one's life, or even worse, as its source, as well as its purpose. Greed can cause us to turn into ourselves, thereby becoming indifferent to those around us. For example, indifferent to the homeless in our civic community, to the refugees we have helped to settle here in the bay area, and the desperate families and individuals at our southern border. Pope Francis tells us the culture of comfort which makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people, makes us live in soap bubbles which however lovely and insubstantial, are a fleeting and empty illusion which results in indifference to others.

Greed blocks our ability to hear God's voice, so often spoken to the cries of the poor, and those in need. let us take to heart Today's responsorial psalm which we just sang: if today you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts. Let us note that greed is not limited to wealth, it can take the form of the accumulation of anything unnecessary. For example, greed for power is almost as common as greed for wealth. And people can be greedy for things like social connections or experiences which if you listen carefully, you will hear articulated in their speech. In each case, the thing desired becomes a counterfeit of life itself. In the gospel, Jesus urges his followers not to make that mistake. God alone is the source and the purpose of life. Food, shelter, and clothing support life and a prudent reserve of resources can ease anxieties about the future, yes. But the basis of life and peace is not the wealth itself but God who has provided it.

Saint Peter Cosaligas, whose feast was yesterday, asked a good question. He asked why you ask, how you were made, and did not seek to know why you were made. Good question. We Christians believe the purpose of life is to become like Christ, and true wealth consists of the everyday decisions that make us resemble him. Remember the psalm "will you let me be your servant? let me be as Christ to you". A disciples treasure is every act of forgiveness, generosity, and kindness, and every deed that confers healing, or deliverance, or peace. Those who accumulate these treasures have discovered the true purpose of the life that God has given us. Not those possessions are bad, but one's life does not consist of possessions. Jesus says very clearly in today's gospel to the rich man: "you fool, this night your life will be demanded of you, and the lives you have and the things you have prepared to whom they will belong? Thus will it be, for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God our creator, in whose image we have been made.

What is the richness that matters to God? The richness that matters to God is generosity and service to others. That's what matters to God. Professional athletes draw large salaries, and among them is Steph Curry of the warriors. What I have read and learned about him, a man of faith by the way, I believe he would agree that his richness is not in his money or his possessions. As do other athletes, Steph gives back to the community. he is rich in my mind, he is rich in what matters to God, he's rich in his generosity and service to others, especially to underserved children in Oakland. he together with his wife Aisha, do this to their non-profit foundation - eat, learn, play, and the three pillars of the foundation are nutrition education and physical activity. May God continue to bless that foundation in all that it does all the good for the children in Oakland and their families. I hope that none of us leaves this church this morning without truly in our hearts realizing that the richness that matters to God is generosity and service to others. Something that looks outward not inward. And there is no better way to experience and to share God's love.




天主傾聽窮人和有需要的人的呼喊,和他們對話,安慰他們。貪婪卻阻礙了我們聽到天主聲音的能力。今天聖詠的答辭是:“如果今天你聽到天主的聲音,不要再心硬”。 我們該注意,貪婪不只限於財富,貪婪是指以任何方式來聚集你並不需要的社會資源。 譬如說,權力,社交網路,生活經歷等等的貪婪。如果您仔細聆聽網路,您會在他們的言談中清晰地認出,他們都企圖將他們所推銷的偽造品,掩飾成為生命本身。在福音中,耶穌敦促祂的追隨者不要犯這個錯誤。 只有天主才是生命的源頭和目的。 食物、住所,和衣服都支撐著生命,謹慎資源管理可以緩解對未來的焦慮。 但生命與和平的基礎並不是財富,而是提供財富的天主。

昨天的彌撒是紀念聖彼得·科薩利加斯(Saint Peter Cosaligas)。他問了一個很好的問題。他說:你為什麼要問你是如何被造的,而不問你為什麼被造。問得好,我們基督徒相信生命的目的是效法基督,而真正的財富就是讓我們的日常決定使我們更效似基督。僕人之歌中說“你願意讓我做你的僕人嗎?就像基督一樣的做你的僕人”。門徒們的寶藏就是每一個寬恕、慷慨和仁慈的行為。以及每一個帶來治愈、釋放或和平的行為。那些積累這些寶藏的人已經發現了天主賜給我們生命的真正目的。這不是說財富是壞的,而是說一個人的生命並不是由他擁有的財富來定義。耶穌在福音中對財主說得很清楚:“「糊塗人哪!今夜就要收回你的靈魂,你所儲備的,將歸誰呢?」這正是耶穌對那些努力為自己積蓄地上的財寶,卻忽視天上財富的人所說的。

什麼是天上的財富?對天主來說最重要的財富就是慷慨和為他人服務。職業運動員的薪水很高,其中也包括了金山勇士隊的 Steph Curry。順便提一下,他是一個有信仰的人。我相信他也同意他的財富不在金錢或財產。Curry 和許多其他運動員一樣,將財富回饋社區。因為他對奧克蘭弱勢兒童的慷慨和服務,他在對天主重要的事上很富有。他和妻子 Ayesha 創立了一個非營利基金會—“吃學玩”。 這基金會的三大支柱是營養(吃),教育(學),和體育活動(玩)。因為這些是為奧克蘭的孩子們和他們的家人的好處,願天主繼續祝福他們。我希望每個人今天早上離開教堂時,都能意識到天上的財富就是慷慨的為他人服務,它是對外的而不是對內的。沒有比這個更好的方式來體驗和分享天主的愛了。