18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Youth Day – Lisbon, Portugal –
July 28th – August 7th, 2023

“Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”

I seem to toggle between two approaches to Life – a spirit or an attitude of scarcity and abundance. Scarcity can come from a perspective that we will never have enough money, stuff, or time to do what we want and enjoy. We’re convinced that we’ll never have enough. We will never be content unless we have more of the right thing!

Or we can approach life with a spirit of abundance. We’ll never want for anything if we truly believe. “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”  Then any moment can be viewed as a blessing, and every possession and comfort becomes a gift.

I find it’s ironic that the more I realize I have, the less I seem to need. But the more I think I need, the less I seem to have.

To put this into perspective, I invite you to reflect upon these words taken from “The Paradox of Our Age” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama)
We have bigger houses but smaller families
More conveniences, but less time
We have more degrees, but less sense
More knowledge, but less judgment
More experts, but more problems
More medicines, but less healthiness.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back
But have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We built more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever
But have less communication.
We have become long on quantity,
But short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods, but slow digestion.
Tall man but short character.
Steep profits but shallow relationships
It’s a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.

So what’s in the room of your mind and heart? The Gospel teaches us that we can have the life that we want, by being present to the life you have been given through your Baptism, and continuously nourished through the Eucharist!  When you receive Jesus’ Body and Blood, I encourage you to receive it like it was your First Communion!  Receive it knowing Jesus invites us to experience the abundance of his grace. There’s no limit to what we have been given, or how many times we’re forgiven.

The Gospel calls us to have enough awareness to live simply so others who are less fortunate can simply live, to step up –  like our patron St. Matthias – to make a difference in someone’s life who is struggling to obtain enough of whatever is their deepest hunger or need.

If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity to either take many steps on an actual  pilgrimage, or to share some of your treasure for a worthwhile trip by financially supporting someone’s desire to take a pilgrimage, please consider the World Youth Day which will be next year in  Lisbon, Portugal – July 28th -August 7th, 2023.  Our Bishop will lead us on this pilgrimage to Lisbon, Portugal, and desires your presence on this journey! To learn more  about the trip, please visit the Diocesan Web page: https://diometuchen.org/wyd  Or you can contact Sue Lenczewski or myself by emailing smyle@stmatthias.net

This trip is for teens 10th grade or older and young adults. Parents are welcome to attend. The price is $4,289 pp. double occupancy, including airfare, hotel, transportation in Europe, WYD fees, most meals, taxes, and guides. The hotel is the Lisbon Marriot.  All attending are encouraged to additionally purchase international health and travel insurance.
I’m looking forward to sharing the treasures of abundant life with you and encountering the expansive and diverse Catholic community – both here in Somerset and hopefully in Portugal!


Deacon John