I recently heard in a homily from Fr. Mike Schmitz (click here for podcast homilies), that before about 100 years ago the word “priority” was never pluralized. Like the word never had an “s” on the end of it. Now we talk about our “priorities,” but 100 years ago we never used the word like that. Why?
The word “priority” actually means “first thing,” and basic logic tells us we really can’t have more than one “first thing.” And yet, we try to hold onto many things as our first, most important thing.
Jesus calls us on our bologna in the gospel today. Jesus reminds each of us that, at the end of the day, only one thing can be our #1 priority. No matter what we do, no matter what we say, one thing always comes first. One thing will always end up being our most important thing. If we aren’t purposeful about choosing our priority, we might end up prioritizing something that actually enslaves us.
Jesus uses the example of money and possessions to explain that if we try and hold onto multiple priorities (with one being money) eventually, our money, our status, our possessions will work their way to the top and we will become slaves to wealth.
Honestly ask yourself right now – what is my priority? Stop reading and really think about it.
Ha! Caught you, you tried to list a number of things, like family, friends, church (cuz you thought you were supposed to), and maybe other things.
A simple (but not-so-easy) way to figure out your priority is to analyze where you spend your time and your money. It’s as straightforward as examining your calendar and your checkbook (or online banking statement).
Ask these questions:
- How do you spend the most of your time?
- If you have nothing else to do, how do you spend that time?
- How do you spend the majority of your money?
- If you have some extra money, how do you spend it?
Did you like your answers? Honestly, I didn’t like mine. Time to recommit to a new priority.
Figure out how you spend your extra time and money. If the answer isn’t the absolute best thing you could be doing with that time and money, consider fasting from spending money and time in those ways. Then pray about how you think Jesus would want you to spend that time and money. Tell me how this goes; I’d love to hear if anyone tries it.