Reflections and Perspectives

Welcome! Reflections, Testimonials, and Perspectives for St. Mary Magdalen are offered by our priests, deacons, parishioners, and others as guest writers. We will offer a Sunday Reflection as well as other topics. 

  • Deacon Joseph Boyle, M.A.

If Christ is all I possess, then I possess enough



Some things in this world are not meant for everyone—yet, the material world conveys the opposite. In a world where we are made to believe that everything is at our fingertips with a click of the mouse, it may seem that all “things” of this world were meant for everyone. After all, we tell ourselves,“I deserve, need, want, or have earned it.”


In the Gospel, we heard this warning from our Lord: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” The material world summons us to covet possessions. Possessional wealth is the modern-day form of idolatry. A false god, for sure. We also heard our Lord’s words of caution, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you.” Or, as the saying goes—there are no U-Hauls behind a hearse.


So, how can we handle this false truth idealized in our society? With every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Minimalism is assessing one’s life and eliminating possessions to only those required for living. Minimalism may work for some, but it is certainly not for everyone. The concept of Minimalism may provide us with more time, energy, and resources to pursue healthy relationships. Still, it does not speak to the Gospel's meaning of treasure on earth: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Our Lord want us to build up treasure—the treasure of our hearts conformed to His own for the benefit of others.


St. Francis of Assisi lived a minimalistic life after disavowing his family’s inheritance. His heart was centered on our Lord’s own, and he lived his life serving the poor. St. Francis’ message was uncompromising and straightforward: “Greed causes suffering for both the victims and the perpetrators.” If greed and possessions are what we cherish, then the lost treasure is the love of God for us, us for ourselves, and the love of neighbor.


Today, the city of Assisi is known as the Eucharistic City. Also framed within in the city is the beautiful Eucharistic story of Carlo Acutis. Carlo spent much of his brief time on earth, living outside Assisi and often visiting its churches. While listening early and often to God, Carlo utilized his talents and, as a missionary disciple, evangelized the heart of Jesus to the world. Carlo was a self-proclaimed computer nerd who used his gifts to reveal the miracles of the Eucharist to the world via the internet. Perhaps Carlo understood that many of us “click the mouse” to achieve possessions. And maybe he thought we could “click” to understand what matters. He also understood that what matters most is not on our fingertips but the fingertips of the priest when he raises the Body and Blood of our Lord at the moment of consecration.


Carlo Acutis’ love of our Lord and the graces found in the Eucharist is a testament to all of us. It is not the material that matters. The Blessed Sacrament as the source and summit of our lives points us to that which we genuinely need and want. We are all made in His image and likeness and yearn for Him. In the Blessed Sacrament, we find love, for we want to be loving. We need understanding and mercy, for we want to be merciful and understanding of others, as our Lord is with us. The Eucharist is meant for everyone.


We have entered into a three-year Eucharistic Revival, and Carlo Acutis should be our role model for this journey. Carlo was called home to our Lord at fifteen after a brief illness. Knowing he was dying, his words are a source of hope and inspiration: “I am happy to die because I have lived my life without wasting a minute on those things which do not please God.” No doubt, Blessed Carlo will be made a saint, and soon. At such a young age, Carlo lived the words in today’s Gospel: “Blessed are these servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.” With this prayer in mind, perhaps our motto could be: If Christ is all I possess, then I possess enough.


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