There is a television show that is called “Storage Wars” or something like that. The premise of the show is based upon those ubiquitous storage buildings that have sprung up around the country. Apparently, Americans have so much junk and stuff in excess that their houses are not big enough to hold it all. Someone has made a fortune in setting up storage facilities around the county where they will hold all your excess treasures in case you need access to them. I don’t really get it, since I throw everything away; I’m not a keeper.
So, back to our show: the premise of “Storage Wars” is that you have groups of people bidding on a storage bin without knowing what is inside. It seems to be the new version of “Let’s Make a Deal” from our youth. (“What’s behind curtain number 2 Monty?”) Not knowing what is inside the storage bin people make bets to purchase the unknown. Apparently last week a man in Oklahoma bid $500 on a storage bin with unknown content. When he opened the storage bin there were the expected broken chairs, bean bags, glasses, plates and tools. Then the new owner opened an old bag sitting in the corner of the bin he found $7,000,000 in cash! Someone, somewhere was an ignorant fool to have never looked inside that bag.
One of the great things about the Catholic Church is our history and tradition which goes back beyond Christ, deep into our Jewish roots. We call this “The Treasury of the Church.” We are an ancient lot which have millennia of traditions, stories, customs and history that have survived the test of time. While so many have come and gone, the Church is still here—sometimes in spite of the harm that we have inflicted upon ourselves. Just the fact that the Church endures, is proof that God has to be in charge and with his Divine hand on the tiller steering us through history. Napoleon Bonaparte once bragged to the Pope that he had the power to destroy the church. One of the cardinals, under his breath, said “Good luck your majesty, if the clergy haven’t destroyed it, you probably won’t get far.” It is a glib line, but there is a kernel of truth in that the promise of Christ was that no power on earth could destroy the Church—even our self-inflicted wounds.
Which brings me to my point. The Church is the custodian of the treasures of faith and history; our traditions, customs and sacramental practices. We have been given the many gifts of God—in particular the Sacraments—to get us to heaven. If you are baptized and have received your Sacraments you have been given already the treasures of the Church to assist you in attaining salvation. But so many people, indeed far too many people, go through life and never open up and delve into those treasures given to assist us. Like all that money, it is left in a bag that someone never opened in order to find all that was necessary to get through this life.
I asked my friend when he was going to have his 2 little children baptized. He told me he was going to wait and let them decide on their own. I asked him if he let them choose their own doctors. He got the point. I always encourage young people to be absolutely sure of what it is they are discarding when they walk away from their faith; sadly, they have never even investigated their faith, yet they will throw it away into the trash.
In the Sacraments God places before us all those tools and gifts necessary to get us to heaven: The Eucharist as “food for the journey,” Baptism to wash away original sin and bring us into the church, Anointing of the Sick to give us strength in our suffering, Vocations to help us commit ourselves to living the Gospel message and Penance for when we stray from God.
You already have those gifts. Open them up. You have everything you need. Use those gifts, use those sacraments; they are inexhaustible.