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Movies, Purpose, and a Bishop

Memorial Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

First Reading: Philippians 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters,
and observe those who thus conduct themselves
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you
and now tell you even in tears,
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach;
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified Body
by the power that enables him also
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light.”

NAB

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Sometimes I forget that there is more to this life, that my real home is Heaven. Sometimes I get easily distracted by what my true purpose in life is. However many years all of us have on planet Earth are like the previews in the movie theater. They build up to the main attraction which is the movie you have come to see. Nobody goes to opening day for a particular movie for the previews, right? That’s crazy. So why then, do we treat our life on earth sometimes like it’s the main attraction rather than just the preview?  We are like those Saint Paul refers to in the First Reading “Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things.” We need to remind ourselves that “our citizenship is in heaven.”

Saint Charles Borromeo, whose Feast is today, strikes me as a man who understood very well his purpose in life. While born into nobility, Eventually he was made the archbishop of Milan. During the post-Reformation years, Saint Charles was a great reformer to combat the inroads of reformation theology along with men like Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Philip Neri. He was also responsible for significant reforms in the Church, including the founding of seminaries to properly educate priests.

This is a guy who knew his purpose down to the core of his soul, and he lived his life out of that knowledge. When we understand our true purpose in life, then we start living our lives on earth differently. We start to live with our eyes fixed on the main attraction which is Heaven, our real home.

Let’s not forget for what and Whom we are created, sisters. Our citizenship is not defined by the address on our driver’s license or the home country on our passport. We are created for something much more than this world could ever possibly offer us. We are created for God and to be with Him forever.

Have you ever asked God the question: What is my purpose here on earth? What is my mission? Be still with those questions and let Him speak to the depths of your heart. Speak, and then just listen.

photo credit

Patty Hubbard is a runner, youth minister ordinaire, and thinks old movies are the greatest thing since sliced bread. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.

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