Storing Up Treasures for Heaven

I attended this past year, the funeral of a very rich man, Fr. Joe Fenech. Now I realize that some of you who read this may know Fr. Joe and I encourage you to share this blog post with others who may know him. I didn’t know Fr. Joe very well but we met on a few occasions, first when I was a seminarian and then at a couple of celebrations as a priest. Each time I met Fr. Joe, he talked at length about certain people who were an important part of his life. He pulled out his wallet and showed me, pretty much a stranger, pictures of his family and friends; nieces and nephews, godchildren. At his funeral many of the many priests shared the same experience of Fr. Fenech; he was a man who deeply loved his priesthood and had the capacity to love many, many people in his life. It was obvious that this capacity brought forth the riches that Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel; the riches he had here on earth were riches he takes with him to heaven. Other priests who knew Fr. Joe better than I did knew that he appreciate the very simple things in life, but most important to him was surrounding himself with people. I share my reflection on his life because when I thought about how today’s Gospel might offer us something, especially for those who discern their vocation, Fr. Joe Fenech came to my mind immediately. Cardinal Collins preached to a packed church and spoke for us all when we were moved by the turnout of clergy and loved one, family and friends alike. We all desire love in this world, and often times we spend too much of our lives working for the treasures which Jesus is asked to mitigate today. We work for these treasures and then we miss out on the better part. Men and women discerning religious vocations want to know that their lives will have love and the same kind of depth and meaning that women and men who marry and have families hope to find. I can assure you that the richness that we find in family life can be there for the man or woman who discerns priesthood, religious life and even the Generous Single Life in Christ but we have to work for these greater treasures, and like Fr. Joe we will surely find it. Let us pray for this today, and be assured that at the end of our lives and as we prepare for the next part of our Christian journey, the Lord will say to us “well done, good and faithful servant!”

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