What Truly Matters

4 Oct

“Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give.  For these, they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve.”  ~ Francis of Assisi

We are a people who like to accumulate things, some to a horrific degree as the television program Hoarders will show. You can accumulate all that you desire, you can accumulate more than anyone else ever has done.  However, in the final analysis, at the end of your life, you’re just as dead as anyone else.  The things that we gather do not assure us of an extended life nor of a reward after this life.

There is something that we can accumulate, though, that will benefit us when we die.  That would be the rewards of all our charitable works done through life.  God does not care how much we own.  He cares about how much we are willing to give to others.  God does not care about how much talent we have.  He cares about how we are willing to share our talents with others.  God does not care about how important we are.  He cares about the time we give to others in order to make them feel important.

St. Francis seemed to have a keen awareness of this.  He knew that material goods would not assure him of anything which is why he embraced what he called Lady Poverty.  In and through poverty, he believed that he would be able to touch the lives of other in such a way as to give them an opportunity to see and experience the love of God.

If we can do that, we will have a true reward and, I dare say, it will not only be a reward in heaven but one here on earth as well.  That is because the heart is touched and warmed when we see that our good deed has helped another person.  That is the true reward for which we should seek.

Accumulating things is easy to do.  Touching the lives of others in a positive way is something that takes practice.  It also takes faith, faith to believe that what we do can help another person.  On this feast of St. Francis, consider your daily routine.  Is it all about yourself or do you reach out to others?

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God for the grace to be a humble servant to all.