8661 North 76th Place, Milwaukee, WI 53223 | A Northwest Milwaukee Catholic Parish

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"Investment, Yield, Return"

(spoken softly)
Let’s see. If I enter the Calendar Raffle, I could win $25.00 for a weekday but a $100.00 for a Sunday. Ummm. It only costs me $25.00 and I’m good for the whole year. But if I put that $25.00 under a rock then I’ll have that $25.00 at the end of the year. But the Calendar Raffle still sounds like a good deal. Oh wait. I think that means that I need to go to church every, single Sunday for a whole year or I may not win!

That’s not true. You don’t need to be present to win.

Oh, darn I hate making decisions. I’ll gamble with the trusty threesome, “Rock, paper, scissors.”  Is it the chancy Calendar Raffle paper? Or, is it the safety of the rock? I choose scissors. Tear the other two apart and choose burying it. Church? Every week? 

That’s not true. You don’t need to be present to win.

We can all share a story or two or maybe even more about lost or wrong opportunities because of wrong thinking, impulsive thinking, bad advice, fear, greed, selfishness. And, I’m not up here talking about money.

Jesus uses money as an image for investments. Funny, this from a guy who doesn’t have any, uses that image often for us folks who know a thing or two about currency. But the first of three words to remember is investment. Whether in your personal development, your relationships, your marriage, your relationship with the Trinity - how much are you willing to invest?

We believe, in faith, that investing in God is the only winning choice. That’s what we think but is that how we behave? 

It’s those shortcuts when we told Jesus that we’re all in, that threesome we call, “lock, stock, and barrel”. But did we mean it? It’s the fork in the road when we traveled left, the wrong way, and now backing up the car to take the other way. (And, I’m left-handed. Why is the right way always the way right?)

What is our personal investment in this journey we call life? Our investment is only the beginning. We immediately inquire about our seriously second, financial word, “yield.” What’s our reward for this substantial investment? If you say, Heaven, then you are being selfish and “holding on to your own,” as the saying goes.

I dislike the word reward when it comes to eternity; that life after this life. The yield of our carefully, protected investment is lived right here, right now. So, put on your seatbelts - a fulfilling, enriching, exciting, scary, wondering, doubting, lest we forget mysterious, humbling, devotional, even humorous, nourishing, centuries-tested, forgiving, celebrating, lonely, uniting, death-defying, fulfilling but wanting even more, grace-filled and leaving us speechless. 

And, yet again, another financial term completes our trio, “return.” Three financial words - investment, yield, return. Those earthly felt feelings that we yearn for? They are divinely provided for us through every, single situation in our lives.

Marry those three business words to these three words Father, Son, Spirit and we then have what’s called a sacred, blessed, holy life. Financially, it’s not a bargain. Perhaps, even a bad risk for what’s called for in our lives. It becomes a divine investment. Not of our making ours for the taking.

There’s is no bartering with God. Bragging about your Mexican trip and the scarf you bought talking him down two dollars may sound good at a cocktail party but doesn’t match the only investment that God demands of us. And, we know God’s investment. I don’t need to tell you.

Please note, “Taxes and penalties on early withdrawals vary by account type (Traditional or Roth). If you plan to withdraw your money early, please consider the following IRA rules: Your withdrawal may be taxed. You may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty.”

But, whatever, have a nice day.