There’s a famous story about an American tourist travelling in Europe who visited a wise and a famous rabbi. The American was surprised when he saw how simply the rabbi lived: in a single room with a table and a chair and a few books.
“Rabbi! Where is all your furniture?” asked the tourist.
“Well, where is all yours?” the rabbi asked.
The American tourist answered, “My furniture? I’m just passing through here.”
The wise rabbi responded: “That’s also true for me. Although I’ve lived here my entire life, I’m aware that I’m simply passing through here, too!” (Guiding light: Walk in the light, Fr. Joe Robinson, p.122)
We have become a generation of accumulating things we don’t necessarily need. It’s been a month since I moved to Sts. Sebastian and Catherine. While I had lived in my previous rectory for five years, little did I know how much I had accumulated.
I asked myself, “What if I had lived in a house by myself which was not furnished?” I could have needed to move a ton of things. I learned my lesson. Now I want as few things as possible.
Sometimes we hold on things we don’t need. Go to your closet and see how many clothes, shoes, and other stuff you have accumulated. Then ask yourself the Marie Kondo question: “Does this spark joy?”
The first reading from the book of Ecclesiastes is saying everything is vanity. We work so hard for things (possessions), and we forget building relationships with our loved ones and God. Parents are working so hard to give their children a good life, but in the process they lose them because they don’t make time to be with them and get to know what they are going through.
It’s been said if we don’t make time, we are going to run short of time. In the gospel, Jesus is warning that one’s life does not consist of possessions (Lk. 1:15b). Life is about having a good balance of God, family and job.
Let us accumulate strong relationships with God and our loved ones instead of more stuff.
“But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Mt. 6:33).