Today's gospel reading immediately brought to mind the more than a few boxes of "treasures" that seem to be so necessary, so required. Each time this vagabond has moved, he has promised himself to rid the cluttering objects from closet, basement or attic. Yet, there seems to be something so magnetic about the thought/feeling, "things I MUST have." It seems to be a part of me. As I drive through city, suburbs and more rural area, a relatively new reality has become a part of the scenery: the storage house.
Who is there who doesn't allow that same thought or feeling to take over? Today with so many malls, so many shops, are we not the object of so many SALE TODAY experiences. We store up so much "stuff." Some might be honest and refer to it as "junk." Of course excuses abound when we begin to think about ridding ourselves of these things that take up space, require time to clean or move from one corner or shelf to another. Drive through a suburban neighborhood and notice how many folks have to park their cars outside the storage room ... oops, I mean the garage!!!
I cannot be speak about my "best sister" as we, her siblings, call her. The "best" because she is our only sister!!! However, she is known among her family and some of her friends as "Queen of the Dump." There is not a week when she does not make the trip to her storage house ... the local collection center. Once I asked her to assist me clear out some of my belongings. Of course she volunteered but when she was brutally honest about what had to go, I withdrew the request! Chicken! Yes!
So, as I read this gospel today, I thought once again about a decision that has to be made. As a priest, there are so many "gifts" that have arrived over the years. Books no longer needed line too many shelves. I think about those days when I lived in the Jesuit communities and we struggled to live the vow of poverty ... one of the great gifts of religious life!
Today, now a diocesan priest, the "vow" of poverty does not continue in my life. Would that I could be serious about the "spirit of poverty" in my living quarters! My sister has a large house but clutter does not exist and the house stands out for its lack of clutter. The items she does display etc. stand out in their own beauty, not mixed in with so many other items.
The treasures we really have to store up are those we treasure in our hearts: friends, relatives, conversations, dinners together, trips together, sharing in the joys of family and friends. Moments of solid often open up door ways, not to closet overflowing with "things" or "stuff." Rather it is to the goodness God has put into our lives.
The picture above reminded me of that treasury we can have in our hearts. Mom or Dad is tearing apart some of the fruits of a fishing expedition. The two young ones wait, knowing that the care of a parent is soon to be experienced in a filling way. Out there is God's nature, watching the event with a camera, it becomes so easy to sense the real treasures we should be storing in our hearts.