I returned last week from an amazing 12 night British Isles cruise with my daughter. It has been in the planning stage for three years and finally happened. She graduated in 2020 and to celebrate, we planned a Baltic cruise. Then came COVID and her “normal” senior year, like all the 2020 graduates, was thrown into uncertainty and loss. She didn’t get a prom or a normal graduation and her celebration cruise was cancelled along with all other cruises.
We hoped in 2021 we would be able to make up for the cancelled one and rebooked the Baltic cruise, but alas, still no cruising allowed in the summer of 2021. Because of her schedule, the Baltic cruise didn’t work out in 2022, so we looked through the options and decided a British Isles cruise would be fun. It was amazing and I planned to write a post or two about the fabulous places we were able to see. I still plan to get to that, but for today, I have another thought.
While listening to the readings and gospel at Sunday Mass this weekend, the message really hit home. The gospel, Luke 12:13-21 talks about living for the life we will have after this life on earth. In his sermon, the priest said that what we give away and what we do for others will be returned to us in Heaven while the possessions we obtain will be lost to us when we are gone from this world. That thought has stayed with me through the week and I think will continue to do so. Several times already I have been motivated to act because of what the priest said. I do think that all that we do for others does come back to us, sometimes in this world, but especially in the next.
Here is the Gospel reading if you’d like to read it:
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”‘ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”Luke 12:13-21
I am no scholar, but what I get from this message is that we should be generous to those around us with both our time AND our treasure. These days, it is understandable that many are struggling to get by and aren’t able to give large monetary gifts. I happen to believe that the gift of a helping hand when a friend or neighbor needs it, an offer to babysit parents who need a break, an offer to pet sit for someone going out of town (my dog Romeo and I are the recipient of one such generous soul!) or an offer to run an errand for someone who is homebound are all ways for us to share.
I think sharing experiences is also to be valued. While it is not from the bible, I still love the following quote:
I think we need to extend ourselves the same generosity and to take the opportunities to enjoy life and to enjoy the beautiful world that God has given us. Working just to get the biggest house or the biggest car will certainly not make an impact on the lives of our loved ones like the gift of our time will. When we are gone, we will be remembered by the little acts of kindness and the time we spent with those we love.
I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to spend this time making memories with Aurora. She will be gone to her semester abroad all too soon and while she doesn’t have room to take a great deal from home, the memories we made can go along with her without requiring even an inch of her luggage.
I wish you a wonderful day or evening, depending upon when you read this. If you have the opportunity to help someone today, I encourage you to do it. Your reward will be great in Heaven (and you’ll feel good here on earth!!) 😉
Love, ❤️ Beth