Above average by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

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Sunday Moments , August 4 2019

The story is told about a wife who asked her husband: “Honey, I have heard somewhere that an average person speaks about 10,000 words a day. Is that true?” The husband said: “Yes, dear, but remember, you are far above average!” He was given the silent treatment the rest of the week.

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 12,13-21), Jesus warns those who think of themselves as “above average” because of their possessions and wealth, not to be complacent nor proud because death may come anytime. “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?”

The evil one certainly knows how to use money to break up families, friends, organizations, and even communities. How many families have taken their financial quarrels to court, how many friends have stopped talking to each other, how many organizations and communities have become divided because of money matters?

A dear friend, Sam, has gone home to the Father at the age of 66. He was a good man. He was rich, but very humble and generous. What struck me was how his wife took it all gracefully and gratefully because of “dayenu,” which in Hebrew means “it would have been enough.” Even if God has given only one of the blessings He has given us, it would have been enough. “Dayenu” teaches us to be deeply grateful and not be forgetful of God’s goodness and generosity.

The wake of a deceased person says a lot about what kind of a person he was. More than the flowers, and more than social friends, there were a lot of workers and helpers of Sam’s family who came to show their sincere love and respect for him. Why? Because he treated them well, and he was generous to them. There is no substitute for kindness.

Check your family: A good family is a family that is close to God, close to one another, and close to the people. May your riches not isolate nor insulate you from the “ordinary” people, the “hoi polloi,” the “madlang people.”

At the end of our lives, may we have no regrets that we pursued vain and selfish dreams, and accumulated so many useless things, not to mention the stress and the unhappiness that went along with them.

At the end of our lives, may we have little or no regrets that we loved too little, or too late.

What are you doing the rest of your life? Rest, eat, drink, and be merry and enjoy the good things you have stored for many years? Do not put your worth on your money nor security on the things you have accumulated. “Take care to guard against all greed for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” May you not live a shallow life loaded with money, but in the end, a life that is lonely and empty.

People have been messaging me lately if I am sick again because they read a post from last year about my lung surgery and hospitalization. Thank you for your concern and prayers, but I am well and healthy, by God’s grace!

I look back at what I went through a year ago, and I am just grateful for God’s mercy and compassion. I remember, too, the goodness and the prayers of people and friends. Indeed, in the end we can consider ourselves rich and “above average” if we have God, and if we have caring friends and family, and the humble assurance that we did not live our lives in vain.

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, it’s OK if I am “below average” by worldly standards as long as I am “above average” in Your eyes. Amen.

One comment

  1. Amen fr jerry. May you continue to be blessed to bless a lot of people
    Like me. Amen and Amen for the wisdom given to you by God to talk and publish these things in public for you to share what your thoughts and ideas that God also thinks. God bless you more!🙏👍

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