How much? Too much!

He said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.

I am so thankful that we have joined together in worship this Sunday.

St. Basil the Great wrote a homily of about thirty pages in seven sections on today’s gospel. St. Basil took the time and the effort because the issue of social justice and equitable distribution was not just important to him, but was much more so, important to God.

Basil famously wrote: Now, someone who takes a man who is clothed and renders him naked would be termed a robber; but when someone fails to clothe the naked, while he is able to do this, is such a man deserving of any other appellation? The bread which you hold back belongs to the hungry; the coat, which you guard in your locked storage-chests, belongs to the naked; the footwear mouldering in your closet belongs to those without shoes. The silver that you keep hidden in a safe place belongs to the one in need. Thus, however many are those whom you could have provided for, so many are those whom you wrong.

Basil saw the accumulation of things as theft. If one takes and stores up more than what is necessary one is stealing from those in need. 

Basil also saw the provision of earthly goods as a test. He recalled that Saintly Job had a lot. The question, What would happen when it was all taken? Scripture tells us that throughout his suffering and loss Job never lost faith, never rejected God. 

The harder temptation is to have much. Having much, over abundance, is a test as well. The question, What would happen if we have much and more again? The rich man in the parable is not judged until his riches and stuff become his faith. The rich man relies only on himself so his life is demanded of him.

In Basil’s diocese of Caesarea, he created the Basilidad. It was a community of prayer that saw to the needs of the sick and dying, the starving and naked. Those who worked there, ordinary people and religious, gave up that extra coat, those shoes in the closet, the bread, and the silver to do God’s work. They shared what they had equitably. Others saw it and gave generously. We have an abundantly generous family here. We are a mini-Basilidad in seeing to the needs of our community and that is why we are blessed.

Yet, we must always be careful and aware of the test. Let’s try an experiment. Let us look at our closets – do we need extra storage space (larger barns). Try to count every article of clothing we have. How many days could we go without needing to do laundry? If our conscience calls to us, let us do what we can help another with what we have in abundance.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

I have a box. For those who get to church early enough or stay late enough, for the past two years you have seen me walking in and out of church with an old broken down box. The box is my briefcase of sorts. My family often comments: Why don’t you get rid of that old box and just get a briefcase? I don’t say much. I like my box.

This month’s scripture, taken from Matthew 6:33 reminds us of priorities – what comes first, what is most important: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

The box is a reminder to me of what we are celebrating this year, and in a special way how we will begin the month of October. One-hundred years ago people in Schenectady packed bags and boxes. They did not have much. They tread on foot to the corner of Raymond and Van Vranken to build a new church. This would be a church providing them the freedom to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Not long before this momentous event in 1921, these very same people packed boxes and bags and trunks to emigrate to the United States. They sought a better life and the opportunity to add good things to their lives – the dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What is worthy of not just celebration, but also emulation, is that these founders did not separate or compartmentalize seeking the kingdom, righteousness, and a better life. They saw them as God’s way-of-life. They listened to what St. James pointed out: Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God (James 1:17). As we celebrate the centennial of our wonderful parish, as we reflect on the good gifts we have received, let us remember those bags, boxes, and trunks. Let us recall that the search for truth and the achievement of victory took work and struggle. Most importantly, may we too live seeking what is important first, and all these things will be added to us.


Welcome to our September 2021 Newsletter. We are one-month away from our grand centennial celebration and September holds a wide variety of worship events leading up to this momentous occasion. Check out the October 1st through 3rd centennial schedule. In September we celebrate Labor Day, Brotherly Love Sunday, and Back to Church Sunday (who will you invite?). We commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11/2001. We reflect on our summer events and the great things accomplished in our parish, including astounding generosity. Ready for coffee hour? It’s back starting September 12th. Ready for daily Holy Masses? They are returning to parish life. Pray in advance of our Diocesan Synod and reflect on walking with God and each other.

All that we do, all accomplished, a future filled with hope is by God’s good grace and YOUR love and commitment. Thank you!

Check out all this and more here in our September 2021 Newsletter.