St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

When we hear the word "greed", we almost automatically think about money or possessions. Certainly Qoheleth and Jesus are referring to them, Qoheleth about the vanity about working so hard to accumulate wealth with an anxious heart; Jesus speaking a parable about a man who used "I" more times than is found in Mississippi. Paul continues that theme by advising to "seek what is above, not of what is on earth" and "to put to death...immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry" which is like worshipping a false god.
 
Greed puts the emphasis on me, my ego, the big fat "I". That was the problem of the man in the parable. It was all about him, not sharing his good fortune with the people who worked his land for him but thinking of his own future comfort. He lived a life that was the very opposite of Christian ethos. Instead of giving, he was hoarding.  
 
But Jesus adds: "Take care to guard against all greed." What could he possibly mean? Again, greed puts the emphasis on me, my ego, the big fat "I".
 
For each of us, the answer to all greed might be a bit different, but here are some possibilities:

  • Do I always have to be right?
  • Do I always want my own way?
  • Do I seek and ask of others perfection?
  • Do I try to please everyone so everyone will like me?

It isn't all about me and mine. As we learned last week in praying the Our Father, it's about us and our.

There is a saying used in the sports world, and many times in the business world as well, that has become a cliché: “There’s no ‘I’ in team.”  

Nor is there any “I” in the “Our Father”.  The “Our Father” is a community prayer, a family prayer, even when recited alone. It contains our, us and we and not my, me or I.

Certainly Luke’s version is somewhat different than what the Church made the ‘official’ version from Matthew’s Gospel, but both are in agreement in their use of pronouns.

Whichever version you pray, Jesus is telling us something important: Even in prayer, the Kingdom is about community.

And, guess what?

There’s no “I” in heaven either.

As a country we celebrate our freedom this weekend. In the Gospel, Jesus sends out his disciples free from luggage to prepare for his coming in every town and place he intended to visit. They are to be unencumbered, focusing on the task at hand.  “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals.” What they were bringing along was much more important: the good news that “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.”

We all have “to do” or “honey do” lists. We oftentimes check off the list first what’s easiest to do, then gradually, the harder ones. Finally we are left with the hardest or the least attractive, like weeding the garden after letting it go for 6 weeks or cleaning out the garage, a closet, or that junk drawer.

When we ask other people who we are or when describing ourselves, we quite naturally talk about roles we have. For instance, “I’m a spouse.  I’m a father or mother.  I work in the banking, insurance, or manufacturing industry. I work at home, taking care of my family”.

Do we ever add or even think about that we “are children of God in Christ Jesus”?

Why? Why would Jesus go to dine in a Pharisee’s house? He had to know that the Pharisees were looking for excuses to criticize him. They had already complained that he was eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. They had already accused him of letting his disciples break the Sabbath law by picking ears of corn on the Sabbath, a form of work that was strictly forbidden. Why would Jesus go into the lion’s den by eating at the home of a man who considered himself righteous by obeying scrupulously every commandment and tradition of the Law?

And then it happened.

A known sinner, a woman besides, crashes the dinner party, touches Jesus feet with her tears and with her hair, kisses them and anoints them with ointment.

Perfect! Simon was horrified and ecstatic at the same time. He had this so-called prophet right in his crosshairs!

But Jesus turns this breach of etiquette into a lesson of forgiveness and a criticism of Simon’s own lack of hospitality, showing his host is in need of forgiveness and not as righteous as he thought himself.

The Pharisee opened the doors to his home to Jesus. The woman opened the doors of her heart.

What can we learn?

•    First, don’t mess with Jesus.
•    Don’t consider yourself righteous.
•    Don’t judge others harshly.
•    We all are in need of the Lord’s mercy.
•    And when you invite into your life, show him hospitality.

 

Faith Formation Registration ~ 2018-2019

Faith Formation Classes, Grades 1-9 ~ Please register before May 31 (to avoid a late fee)

Registration forms are available HERE or at both of the church entrances.

Please place your completed forms in an envelope marked Faith Formation. Envelopes may be placed in the offertory basket, brought to the church office, or mailed.

Please email Theresa Brysgel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

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