Radical Detachment – Dcn. Kris Kuckelman

Dcn. Kris Kuckelman’s Homily July 26, 2020

“When I was in first grade, Sister Catherine Marie taught me and 49 other first graders many things, but maybe the best thing that she taught us is the reason why God created every single one of us and it is to know God, love God, serve God so that we can be happy with God forever in Heaven. That’s our end. That’s our telos. That’s the entire reason for our existence and that’s the Kingdom of Heaven that we hear about in our Gospel reading today. Sometimes our attachment to worldly goods can be an impediment to our ability to know God, love God and serve God and we all know what those worldly goods are. There are visible goods like our home and clothing and food and jewelry and vehicles, even natural wonders like those beautiful Rocky Mountains. There are also invisible goods like our jobs, technology, financial security, pleasure and comfort, those activities that we engage in that we enjoy and God created all of these goods to serve us and so they’re good. They’re not evil in and of themselves, but we can overuse them or misuse them and then we serve those goods. In fact, we can be enslaved by those goods. For many of us maybe the most pernicious attachment that we have is to that good that we call honor, that consolation that we feel when we receive a compliment or praise or win an argument. Like the other created goods that consolation is so fleeting, it never leads to true lasting happiness. The only thing that is true lasting happiness is the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s good to use our prayer time to evaluate how attached we are to these worldly goods and one measure that we could use is to think about how much time and energy we spend on those created goods or acquiring those goods or retaining those goods because if we think about it, what we spend time and energy on, that’s what we really treasure and another measure is- how upset do we get when we lose one of those goods? When we have an activity planned out for the day and our wife says, ‘well the kids really need us to do something else.’ How upset do we get externally and even internally?

It’s also good in our daily prayers to make resolutions regarding our detachment from these goods. You know, this concept of detachment from these worldly goods, it’s considered foolish in our society, but that’s ok. Much of what we believe as Catholics is considered foolish in the world. Almost categorically we can say that the Saints were radically detached from worldly goods. The Saints were so detached and if we’re truly detached from worldly goods we can subordinate those worldly goods to the ultimate good, the Kingdom of Heaven. We can be just as joyful if we never receive those goods or we lose one of those goods as we would if we receive those goods and retain those goods and if we’re truly detached, we’re radically detached from worldly goods we can keep our eyes fixed on that treasure in the field, that pearl of great price. This radical detachment is something we can always aim for and we may feel overwhelmed and feel like it’s impossible. We should never be discouraged by that. On our own we can never achieve this radical detachment, but with God’s grace we can for with God everything is possible.”