A niche for the life beyond


Today's gospel about Jesus' encounter with the affluent young man attached to his many possessions (Mark 10:17-30) is very timely for me because, yesterday, I bought a niche in Sunset Memorial Gardens cemetery. The niche in a columbarium wall has room only for an urn or two of cremated remains.


Jesus admonishes us elsewhere: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven .... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)


Like the young man in the gospel, I have many things to which I am attached. I derive great pleasure from viewing the artwork that covers my walls and from listening to my collection of recorded music on a fine stereo system. And at bedtime, I enjoy nestling onto a top-of-the-line mattress.


That empty little niche in the cemetery, which does not have room for my prized possessions, serves as a good focus for reflection on the gospel message and on what I have stored up that I can take with me into the life beyond.


I like the way my late pastor, Fr. Richard Wuertz, expressed it: we never see a hearse pulling a u-haul.


~ Jim Stoffels
12 October 2003


© Copyright 2003 by Jim Stoffels