What Are your Riches?

12 Jul

“There are people who have money and people who are rich.”  ~ Coco Chanel

I remember a time, about six months after my mom passed away, that my aunt came to visit my father.  She was married to his brother and was telling my dad about the condition of his brother.  Things quickly turned to memories of my mother.  Dad was still grieving quite deeply; but, he would often laugh at some of the ludicrous things that my mom did.  In that vein, he spoke about how mom would incessantly play the lottery.  When dad said that, my aunt clammed up and looked down.

I knew something was afoot.  My aunt was never silent.  She always had something to say.  Yet, there she was.  Stone cold silent.  My dad looked at her and said, “What?”  My aunt looked at my dad and said, “She’s still playing the lottery.  Before she died, she left me with enough money to play each week.  I have the directions on what to do if she wins.”

Well, my dad was speechless.  He didn’t know what to say or to do.  He just sat there.  And then I erupted.  I could not keep the laughter in any longer.  I belly laughed so hard and then began to cry because I was laughing so hard.  My dad and aunt joined in.  The thought that my mom, in the grave, was still “playing the lottery” was just incredulous.

Mom always had a plan.  She said that, if she ever won, I would get half to do whatever I needed to do at my parish.  The other half would go to my parents’ parish, my home parish, St. Mary in Griffith.

Mom never wanted to win the money for herself.  She never saw riches as anything desirable, unless it was as a potential source of help for others.  That is the way that we are to look at wealth.  It should not be something that is hoarded.  It is something that should be shared with others.

I have known many wealthy people in my life who were incredibly lonely, sad, and frustrated.  I have also known many people who were rich.  Their wealth was used to care for the needs of others and they were happy and fulfilled.

Wealth is not an end, wealth should be a means.  If God blesses us with anything, we should share our blessings with others.  What do you want today, to be wealthy or to be rich?

FAITH ACTION:  Try not to focus on material gain today; but, rather on what will make you spiritually rich.