Rich in the things that truly matter...
Reflections on the readings for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 4, 2019): ECC 1:2, 2:21-23; PS 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14,17; COL 3:1-5,9-11; LK 12:13-21
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The readings for today emphasize the difference between God’s idea of what is important and the typical human point of view.
The Gospel starts with an irate man who insists that Jesus make his brother share an inheritance with him. Our Lord ignores the demand and, instead, urges the crowd to beware the dangers of greed. He tells them a parable about a rich man who is so reckless and imprudent that he believes his many possessions will provide for his future welfare. The man even says to himself: “‘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 all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God” (Luke 12:19-21).
The rich man of this parable simply does not understand that he is attributing power to his possessions that belongs to God. He cannot grasp that, as the saying goes, you can’t take it with you. Moreover, he shows absolutely no concern for the welfare of those who are in need. A person with this stunted way of thinking is unable to express gratitude to God for the abundant blessings he had received. Instead of embracing the opportunity to share with others from God’s bounty, he only cares about himself. Our Lord wants His disciples to trust in Him for everything. He loves us and wants us to return His love. That means we must not put anything in this world before Him – especially not ourselves.