Deacon Steven Johnson’s Reflection – February 24, 2022
7th Week Ordinary Time, Thursday, Year C
Readings: Jas 5:1-6, Ps 49:14-15abcd, 16-20, Gospel Mk 9:41-50
Theme: The Bank of Heaven
Investing your money takes patience and fortitude. Patience to know that the investments you have made are in solid-performing stocks and bonds. Fortitude to stick to your plan when the market takes an unexpected turn and to know you are investing over the long hall. The prudent investor will take the time to do his research, check the stocks or bonds for long-term fund managers, a solid track record, and performance projections that are realistic and for the long term. This same investor will also pick a mix of stocks and bonds in order to balance his portfolio. This way, when the market takes a hit, he doesn’t have all his eggs in one basket and loses everything.
On the contrary, there are those investors who are looking for investments that will net a quick gain, are trendy, or emerging with the promise of big-dollar returns should they take off. These investors will put all their money in one or two risky investments in the hopes they strike it big. They are not balanced, and their portfolio is made up of one or two investments. It’s like putting your money in the slot machine at the local casino and pulling the lever. You could get all cherries and win big or lemons, bananas, and oranges and lose it all.
For us faithful, we need to invest in our future for the long term. We should put our spiritual money in the mutual fund of heaven which contains stocks and bonds made up of prayer, confession, attendance at Mass, kindness to our neighbor, almsgiving, attending to the sick, and many more. We know investing in these funds is solid, balanced and pays a dividend, or obtains growth in our original investment with solid fund management. We also know the fund manager is trustworthy and has been with the fund since its inception. The investment fees are low since they only cost you your time. This is a solid investment strategy that will take care of you when you need it most.
But, for those who don’t take the time to do their research, or even invest at all, their future wellbeing could be in question. These investors put their spiritual money in short-term risky investments of the world which contains stocks and bonds of pride, wealth, self-centeredness, lording over others, cheating, abuse, anger, hate, and many more. These are risky short-term funds that may yield a big return immediately, but then crash and leave the investor with nothing and no future. The fund managers of these investments don’t stay too long with any one investment. They move about from pride to anger, to hate, and so on. They pump up the stock and sell it as roses and bunnies only to find out later it’s full of cactuses and rats. The fees are high since we end up owing the spiritual money we borrowed to buy the fund in the first place. Paying it back never seems to end.
Jesus tells us to cut off whatever is making us sin. If we have a bad investment, we sell it and cut our losses, taking whatever is left and re-investing in good funds. It’s never too late to fix a problem in our portfolio. If you are unsure about your spiritual investments, speak to a spiritual advisor for help. They can review your portfolio; help you pick good investments and assist in cutting those losses and starting over in Confession. A priest or deacon is there to help us sort it all out.
Invest in your future with God in heaven. Save your riches in heaven for the long term and avoid those flowery sales pitches for investment funds on earth. Remain committed and focused and don’t let the roller coaster ride of the secular world scare you into selling your funds. If you do, you could lose out big. If that happens, there is only one place you’ll end up when you have no spiritual money left, and that is a place you do not want to be.