Luke 14: 25-33 My Possessions
What are my possessions? What do I own? What do they mean to me?
To be possessed by my possessions is to live life standing on a mound of dung. As St. Paul so eloquently writes, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8).
Here is a quote from the Bible worth memorizing, studying and digesting!
"Our generation is a perverse generation, a crooked generation" (cf. Phil 2:12-18). This statement will always be true since we are all children of Adam and Eve. But we are children of God first. We can learn from our mistakes. For St. Paul, the only possession that he possessed was to possess the Lord, the greatest possession ever because He is the greatest lover forever. For this reason, he is willing to run his body into the ground and be "poured out like a libation." (Phil 2:17)
While checking out of CVS, I saw the cover of the October 2010 edition of People Magazine. Inside I read the story of a woman named Lisa Rinna, age 47, who was undergoing surgery to reduce the size of her upper lip. The article stated that “she swore she would never touch her infamous pucker”, but she did, surgically, reducing the size of her upper lip that was artificially enlarged in her wilder days. What she said struck me, “I do not want my lips to define who I am.” All I can say to that is AMEN! What a beautiful lesson for all our children.
I often tell our kids in school, “You do not want to be loved because of what you have, but rather because of who you are.” It is a message that does not ring true to many. It sounds great, but it just doesn’t sound practical, especially among our young girls and boys, God's greatest gift to husband and wife. More and more are wearing artificial fingernails, make-up, fashions or styles that are all too revealing. Body building is overtaking team building and protein powders are shaking things up! Teeth need to be straighter than a line and whiter than snow. Why all the fuss? Why do we want our children to look fashionable or thought of as something far worse? A new term has emerged from social scientists that have been covering the sexualization of our children. They refer to them as “prostitotes”. What I have noticed is that the problem is not so much with our children as it is with our parents. They give in, cave in, or worse: they push their children to look more and more adultish than they are.
We are a nation where perfect bodies are expected and at a younger age. This is a classic characteristic of a pagan society!
Why do I mention this in today's reflection? In many ways, I believe this is the greatest threat to God – the idolization of the body - that is, possessing the perfect body rather than the perfect God. I, not God, will determine my size, my eyes, my nose, my chin, my whatever, and that of my children! But I have to remember, my body is not my greatest possession, it is my greatest gift.
I find it interesting that Christ never had a self-portrait made or a bust commissioned by one of the Twelve. We do not know what the Lord looked like. This may be one of the reasons why God chose that the second person of the Holy Trinity would be a Son! I doubt it though. It probably was to show the world that a man can love as much as a woman.
Love is great because Christ is great! God, not man, defines what love is because God is love and the God of love warns us not to reduce love to possessions, but by renouncing our possessions. Love is measured not by what we have, but by what we give.
May the Lord grant us the grace to trust in His words and to be children of God - children of the light - "without blemish!"
This is God's definition of a beautiful body: one without sin. In reality, it is ours too!