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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

Reflecting on Luke 12: 13-21

I’m halfway through The Benedict Option, and I haven’t arrived at the controversial parts yet. So far it’s just a beautifully written synopsis of the different ways that Christianity throughout history has engaged, or not engaged, with the culture. Right now I’m at the part where a new breed of young Catholic men are actually restoring the ancient Benedictine monastery of Nursia, St. Benedict’s birth place.

Rod Dreher really hit a nerve with this one. I’ve never lived further than a mile from my childhood home, yet even I, while sitting in deadlocked summer traffic, am fantasizing about life up in Snowmass with the Trappists. I think his theme is going to be that conscious, communal retreat from the culture is the only way to survive what’s coming in our post-Christian era. Hmm…

It’s easy to see where St. Benedict (and his twin sister Scholastica) derived the inspiration for their radical embrace of the scriptures; it must have been the very texts we hear this weekend. Since we’re reading St. Luke all year, it’s no surprise to hear Jesus tell the crowd that “one’s life does not consist in possessions.” The first reading and the responsorial psalm are, of course, chosen to harmonize with the gospel, so we hear Qoheleth’s famous rebuke of wealth as the vanity of vanities, and Psalm 90’s beautiful prayer that God would “teach us to number our days that we may attain a heart of wisdom.”

But it’s the reading from Colossians that really indicts the Christian, then and now: Put to death….the greed that is idolatry.

I think I get it. But can I please still have my lovely, culture-saturated life? Hmm…

How are you learning to number your days so that you may attain wisdom?

Kathy McGovern ©2019                       

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

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