As we draw the summer to a close with only one week until school starts, the scriptures remind us of the call and challenge to be renewed. Our renewal calls for a right focus and direction in our lives to that which truly matters. To often we have allowed our lives to weighed down by the “stuff” of the world, whether it’s wealth, power prestige and pleasure. The renewed minds set into right perspective all that God has given us and recognizes God as the true provider and giver of all that is good and a blessing to our lives.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians:
“If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”
To often our minds and hearts are set on satisfying and meeting our daily needs, whether it’s food for the table, clothes or paying the rent. Or we focus our energy on our own passions and what we want to get out of life and all that we can accumulate. The scriptures call us to be renewed, the moving to being transformed by renewal is the true call to each us. As we seek to live truly the Christian life and following the Lord, seeking Him above all and finding Him in the total giving us ourselves to the other is truly where we ought to be focused.
Pope Francis reminds us in his reflection on Charity and Love: “For us Christians, love of neighbor springs from love of God; and it is its most limpid expression. Here one tries to love one’s neighbor, but also to allow oneself to be loved by one’s neighbor. These two attitudes go together, one cannot be exercised without the other. Printed on the letterhead of the Missionaries of Charity are these words of Jesus: “as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). Loving God in our brethren and loving our brethren in God.”
The Gospel this week of the Rich Land owner shows us a man who has his priorities wrong, rather than building up treasure in heaven by sharing out of his storehouse, in his own greed his focus is on storing for himself. Self renewal must begin with a moving out of the self toward the other. Seeking to see not only our personal, wants, desires and pleasures, but Radical Renewal requires the passionate desire to seek out and give of our selves. For in loosing ourselves in the serve of our sisters and brothers it is then what we can find our authentic self.
Saint Paul speaks to this when he says: “since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.”
This authentic self renewal is needed for the world today. A renewed way of living and loving. and giving of ourselves authentically for others. This is the first step to renewal and courageously living the Gospel of Christ. Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”