RENUNCIATION AND FRUITFULNESS

 

Meditation for the Second Sunday of Lent

March 20, 2011

The transfiguration is a promise of glory to Him who was and has always been obedient and faithful to the will of the Father. The disciples were overcome with fear but the fear did not prevent them from seeing through the mystery. They will only see the full meaning of the event after the resurrection of the Master.

The obedience of Jesus leads to glory. The obedience of Abraham to leave family and homeland leads to the reward of a universal blessing. "In perfect renunciation lies unrestricted fruitfulness". (Von Balthasar). No Promised Land without obedience. No transfiguration without discipleship. No Easter without Good Friday. No blessing without the cross.

Stewardship is renunciation of greed and selfishness. Stewardship recognizes that God owns everything and God owns every Christian. The psalmist rightly sang "The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord, the world and all that dwell in it". (Ps 24:1). St Paul wrote "Do you not know that you body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, given by God". (I Cor. 6:19).

An attitude of absolute ownership over self and over things, leads to decay and death. It is only when we act as faithful and generous stewards that we can find abundant fruitfulness. In perfect renunciation of self serving ownership, we live as responsible stewards. In responsible stewardship, there is the promise of unlimited fruitfulness and infinite abundance.

How do we show our stewardship? Where in our lives do we show that God owns everything and God owns us?

Time. God showed us His love by giving us His time. He who lived in timelessness entered our space and time and became a man like all of us. The Little Prince rightly said "It is the time that you spend with your rose what makes your rose so important." To give time is to give a treasure. To give time is to give love because we cannot not love the one to whom our time is given.

Talents. Talents can be natural gifts given to us at physical birth or developed through training and education. Talents can also be spiritual gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit for so that Christ can serve others through us.

Treasure. We have no exclusive ownership of money. God is the owner and source of all we possess. In managing our money as stewards, we must show that God is first in our lives. God is not honored by the offering of our leftovers. When you look at what God gave us when he died on the cross, how can you be contented with giving him your leftover?

In renouncing exclusive ownership of your time, talents and treasures, we receive the promise of unlimited fruitfulness. In managing our time, talents and treasures with contentment, generosity and humility, you invest in eternity. "Do not store up treasure for yourself here on earth where moth and rust destroy it ad where thieves can steal. Store up treasure for yourself with God where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it." (Mt 6:19-20).

 

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, March 20, 2011

 

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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