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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Jesus’ comments about greed and possessions in today’s gospel make me think of two phrases: “You can’t take it with you;” and “Wealth is a wicked master, but a wonderful servant.”
In the Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius advises us to keep all things properly ordered. “All things in this world are gifts of God, given to us that we may know God. If any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth in knowing and loving God…I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of God’s life in me and others.”
I ask myself, what constitutes wealth in my life? Is it money, good reputation, learning, maybe health? Is that wealth a servant or a master for me? Do I hoard it greedily or do I share it generously? How might I change my relationship with it such that it truly leads to an ever deepening of God’s life in me and others.
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
O God, you consecrated the first beginnings of the faith in North America by the preaching and martyrdom of Saints John and Isaac and their companions. By the help of their prayers may the light of the gospel continue to flourish throughout the world. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
—The Jesuit Sacramentary