August 5,2007 18th Sunday of Year C

Ecclesiastes 1:2& 2:21-23
Luke 12:13-21
Do you remember the "Bushman" movies. They were about the nomad families in the African Kalahari desert. In the 3rd. of the series it showed how a Kalahari nomad built aningenious trap to catch a monkey. He made a box-like structure with a hole in it just large enough for the monkey to squeeze his hand into it. inside the box the nomad put some sweet smelling nuts that the monkey loved. Smelling them the monkey put his hand in and grasped them. But because his clenched fist (paw) became bigger, the monkey could not withdraw his hand. He could do 2 things. #1: he could let go the lovely food and become free; or, #2: he could keep clasping the nuts and become captive. Most monkeys chose the later! There is a message there for us!
Are we captives of material goods? Do we put too much emphasis on "getting on in life"? What priority do we put on God and prayer?
Material goods are of course not evil in themselves. But sometimes we get so engrossed in them that we forget God and prayer. Henri Nouwen has written a truly beautiful book on prayer called "With Open Hands" I recommend it.
Open your hands letting go of material goods, and let God give you love.
St Augustine in the 5th century wrote in his "Confessions". "Lord God, You made us for Yourself, and our hearts cannot find rest until they rest in you".

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