From: Fr. Pat Umberger Subject: Weekend of 14 and 15 October 2006 ..=: T H I S W E E K E N D :=. from Father Pat Umberger ___________________________________________________ O U T O F T H E C O U N T R Y I'll be out of the country on Pilgrimage until late on Friday, 13 October. If you need to "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" during that time, follow the directions at the end of the e-mail. I cannot manually do it during this time away. _________________________________________________ ..=: V O L U M E 2 0 0 6 , Number 10-15 :=. ..=: T H I S W E E K E N D ' S S C R I P T U R E S :=. The Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. Weekend of 14-15 October 2006 Follow this link for this weekend's Scriptures: www.nccbuscc.org/nab/ ..=: R E F L E C T I O N Q U E S T I O N S :=. "I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne ... " How can the gift of wisdom be more valuable than the riches of this world? What is the source of this true wisdom? "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart." In what ways can we number our days unwisely. Do we spend as much time on the important things of life, the ones that endure, as we should? "Brothers and sisters: Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword ... " In what ways can the word of God cut like a sword? Is this painful? Does it lead to greater good? Jesus, looking at the young man, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. What are things we'd find it hardest to let go of if we were asked? Can we truly possess something we are not willing to give away? What do we lose by hanging on to *things?" "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" The riches of this world, how do they help us think that we're powerful and in control? How can the riches of the world blind us to what is truly important? Why can it be easier for the very poor to rely on God? How are these Scriptures comforting? Challenging? (c)MMVI Fr. Pat Umberger. These Reflection Questions are found each week at the Web Site www.frpat.com. Feel free to link to this page or reproduce them for parish use as long as this credit remains. ..=: S P I R I T U A L R E F L E C T I O N :=. It can be interesting to sit down and make a list of the things we most value in life. It's not particularly difficult to do that. We can arrange the list of family, faith, friends, work, leisure time, husband or wife, possessions, money, reputation, etc. in order of importance. After we've finished we can feel quite smug about it all. Our values are in order and we're doing well. Then it's interesting to take the same list and estimate how much time we devote to each of these things each week. It can be surprising to see how much time we spend earning a living and accumulating possessions as opposed to the quality time we spend with our spouse, children, or with God. Sometimes the time we use to "unwind" after a busy day can surpass the time spent interacting with the ones we love the most. As I often say, in all my encounters with those who were dying I have yet to hear a person say, "Father, I wish I had worked more hours." When we consider the things that last, possessions don't! Those who know their days are numbered spend their time with family and friends and cultivate a strong relationship with God. The things of the world mean little. News flash ... our days are numbered! Our lives in this world will come to an end. None of us know when that will happen. How important it is for us to devote the limited time we have to the things that will endure. In today's first reading we hear about the treasure of the gifts of prudence and wisdom. Sometimes wisdom comes to us after a long period of trial and error. We make mistake after mistake and eventually we can learn to avoid doing that. What a treasure it is if we can spare ourselves of that pain by listening to the experience of others. It is so tempting though, to rely on ourselves and our own wisdom. In today's Gospel we hear about a young man who has tried to follow the commandments his whole life long. When he asks Jesus what further he should do Jesus asks him to sell what he has and give it to the poor. He walks a way with head held down, because his possessions were many. They were getting in the way of what was really important in life. This week we can consider what is important to us and determine whether or not we devote as much time to those areas as we should. We can take a look at the things that hold us back from listening to and following God's call in our lives. We can divest ourselves of whatever it is that holds us back. When we become "poor" we can easily acknowledge our need for God. That's the truth Jesus tries to communicate to the young man in today's Gospel. We too have a chance to learn that lesson. Have a good week!