How much are you worth?

Fr Antonio Pineda
Assistant Parish Priest

This Sunday’s Gospel reminds me why it took me longer than some to apply for the priesthood – I was already in my 30s when I did so. There was always this small voice inside of me telling me that I might want to be a priest but I ignored it for a long time because I thought I knew what would make me happy: a high paying job, the latest gadgets, the ability to travel wherever I wanted and have my own flat. I managed to attain all of these things and yet there came a point when I realised that I was still not happy.

No matter how many gadgets I accumulated or countries I visited, something was still missing. Our society today insists that life is all about money and status but what this philosophy actually does is make us impoverished in the areas that should make life worth living: love, family and neighbours and the hope of something wonderful beyond death. Our success-driven and materialistic society also devalues our humanity. It tells us that our existence is only measured by the number of zeroes in our bank balances. Life is far richer than that. Greed and ambition blind us to what is essential. It is God alone and not money which provides us with ultimate security and purpose in life.

When I finally listened to that small voice inside me, and set out for what I now know is God’s purpose for me, life became more meaningful. The emptiness that I had felt as a career-minded individual was replaced by an overflowing of grace and contentment. As St Augustine would say, I was restless until I found rest in God.

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