Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Treasures in heaven
Points to note
We live in a materialistic world and our children are a sad reflection of ourselves. Before we get carried away with this cliché, we must remember that children are basically not materialistic. Therefore it needs prompt action to steer any discussions on materialism in the right direction.
While children are not materialistic by nature (we just make them like us), they have prized possessions: a well worn out teddy bear for instance. There are girls I know who keep them well into their twenties. It will be good to discuss whether they are willing to sacrifice that teddy bear for instance.
A few points about being materialistic. Jesus never said that money is evil. He said the love of money is the root of all evils. Jesus never said the poor are blessed or rich people cannot go to heaven. It is the poor in spirit who are blessed and it is just that little bit harder for the rich to get to heaven (eye of the needle?). What he meant was that if you are poor but you love money, you won’t be among the blessed but if you are rich but was never that interested in money, you should be ok.
As they say, there are two types of people in the world, people who are rich and people who wants to be rich. Basically, it implies that the base motivation of people remains the love of money. We Christians would like to think there is a third category: people who follow Jesus.
Acclamation before the Gospel
Your word is truth, O lord,
consecrate us to the truth.
Explain to the children what a parable is. It may not be a story that actually happened, but it does contain a truth nevertheless. Truth doesn’t mean the same thing as factual evidence. Truth is reality. And parables often tell a little something about what we really are like. Jesus used parables to explain the Truth.
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Luke
All: Glory to you O Lord
A man in the crowd said to Jesus, “Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.” “My friend,” he replied, “who appointed me to judge your claims?” Then he said to them, “Beware, and be on guard against greed of any kind, because what a man owns will not make his life safe, even when he has more than he needs.”
Then he told them a parable: “There was a rich man who had a good harvest from his land. He thought to himself, ‘What am I to do? I have not enough room in my barns to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grains and my goods in them. Then, I will say to my soul: ‘My soul, you have plenty of good things and you can eat, drink and have a good time for many years to come. So take things easy,’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This very night I will ask for your soul back. And these good things of yours, whose will it be then?’ So it is when a man store up treasures for himself on earth instead of making himself rich in the God’s eyes.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord
If you are going to go away and live somewhere else for quite a long time, what would you take with you?
If you were told that there isn’t enough space in the car and you would have to leave something behind, what would you leave behind?
The rich man in the parable was going to go away to live somewhere else that night, but he didn’t know it. He thought he could take his riches with him wherever he was going. Could he?
Explain that when we go to live with God, we take none of our favourite toys or treasured possessions with us.
What did the rich man do with all his wealth? To have a good life.
How can we make sure that we can have a good life in heaven? Discuss how Jesus has promised that all who believe in him and love and do good will deserve to be with him in paradise. That is the way a Christian pile up treasures in heaven.
Discuss greed. That is what the rich man had lots of. For a Christian, greed will just reduce his treasures in heaven.