We’ve all heard say, “You can’t take it with you.” Regardless of the amount possessions that we accumulate, or how much a coffin is worth, or weather there is a volt next to our grave, we cannot take possessions with us. “Naked we came into the world and naked we shall leave.”
Sobering thought when we consider how much energy is spent acquiring things. People have died for what’s in the bank or because there is nothing in the bank. Throughout history folks have killed, or taken their own life because of money. Some are born into rich families, while others have worked hard all their life, still others are homeless, for whatever reason. Consider the man in the story Jesus told. We do not know if he was born rich, but he was rich and had a bountiful harvest. According to the story, he had nothing to worry about. Is that not a popular assumption that we all make? Do we not assume that if there is plenty of money then there are no worries? At times the opposite is true. Tarzan and Jane were happy living in a tree while others who have lived in places have been miserable. Possessions do not necessarily bring happiness. The more we have, the more we want. How much is needed is very different from how much is wanted. The shady area between need and want is what promotes the economy, even on a world-wide scale. Advertisements attempt to convince consumers that their products are absolutely necessary. A discerning mind can distinguish between the wants and the needs. If we ask people in a nursing home what they need, they usually respond that they do not need anything, they just desire company. Many of the senior citizens are forgotten by their families. Too bad that often wisdom only comes through life experience—the hard knocks of reality. Meanwhile, the pressure is always on—to keep up with those who have more.
Retirement, nest eggs, social security—we all have the desire to grow older without any worries. The illusion is that if we have extra money then there will be no worries. But look what happened to the man in the Gospel story. He gave into the illusion and did not prepare for what matters to God. His barns were full but his soul was empty. In spite of all his wealth he still had to die.
Death is the equalizer, which points to an inevitable reality. If we all know that we are going to die then why not focus on what matters to God? Since life is borrowed, why not place importance what is eternal? Relationships are what matter to God. Our relationship with Him, with our family, and with one another is what makes the mark in eternity. “I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was naked and you took care of me.” Possessions are only a tool, which need to be used in the service of the Kingdom. What we have is not ours to keep but to share. Possessions can either make or break a relationship. What happens on earth has a ripple effect unto our next life. Which is why we should not waste time in regrets. The past can never be undone. We can try to avoid making the same mistakes. Not because we are afraid, but because we believe in the Promise of life in heaven. Each day is an opportunity to share, even if we have little. Our desire is to die in God’s grace, free of the stuff that weighs heavily on our soul. The more that we surrender, especially the things over which we have no control, the more prepared we are do be embraced by the Lord’s arms when we breath our last.
Everything is borrowed. We belong to God and to God we return. Our Eucharistic celebration is the best way to say “Thank you” to God who loves us without conditions and will hold us forever.