A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 12:13 – 21 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.07.31

 

Avarice

 

A man in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’ ‘My friend,’ he replied, ‘who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’

Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.” But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?.” So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’

 

(NJB)

 

Uncertainty and Mindfulness

 

The Gospel for today commends us to bear three things in mind:

 

The first thing is mindfulness; know who it is to whom you are speaking. Do not ask you spiritual director to arbitrate a matter of inheritance, or any like thing.

 

Jesus did not come to settle disputes over the distribution of a family fortune.

 

The second thing is mindfulness: know that life is uncertain, it is ephemeral, our bodies are subject to the vicissitudes of randomness. At any moment expected life of a human could be expressed in years, or in seconds. The truth is that we do not know. We can never know.

 

Therefore, it is pointless to hoard wealth in preparation for a fantasy of a long life, and a life of leisure.

 

The third thing is mindfulness; know the end to which God, the creator of the universe, to which God would have us direct our strength and resources. God would have them directed toward the benefit of all people, and not held in reserve to serve the appetites of single person or their family.

 

You cannot take it with you.

 

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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