October 17th, 2022

The Gospel according to Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

Reflection: I love this statement from Jesus, “YOU FOOL”! In other words, don’t be so ignorant or pretentious. We live in a culture where “more is better” or “Hoarding” is OK. We live in a culture where we believe that those with the most toys, money or houses will win! The truth of the matter is that all of these things get you nowhere in heaven. The way to wealth and happiness is to share. As I write this, I am thinking about a few politicians, athletes, and let’s not forget the celebrities.

This passage is the response from God to one who decides to make worldly wealth his goal.  In this parable, the rich man had such a bountiful harvest that he decided to tear down his old barns and build bigger ones so as to store the harvest.  Little did this man realize that his life would soon come to an end and that all he stored up would never be used by him.

The contrast in this parable is between an abundance of earthly wealth and wealth in what matters to God.  Sure, it may be possible to be rich in both, but accomplishing this would be quite difficult.

One straightforward challenge of this Gospel is to eliminate the desire for material wealth.  This is hard to do because that is what this world teaches us. If we are not wealthy, successful, and highly educated then we are nothing. WRONG!!  That is a “False Identity” that will get us nowhere in heaven. 

It’s not that material wealth is evil, it’s just that it is a serious temptation.  There is a huge difference between needing money to survive versus needing it for greed. The temptation is to trust in material things for satisfaction rather than trusting only in God.  Material wealth should be understood to be a true temptation that must be kept in check.

When we detach from things, God comes to fill or possess us by God’s Spirit. And suddenly the world is full of life once more.” Our lives and possessions are not our own. They belong to the universe and should be shared among all of the creation, not just those who enjoy the privilege of wealth.

Action of the Day:  Let this Gospel offer you a straightforward challenge regarding your desire for riches.  Be honest and look into your heart.  Do you spend much time thinking about money and material possessions?  Seek God above all things and let Him alone be your satisfaction.

Audio Reflection:

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