Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward 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.
A Jesuit in India, Fr. Hedwig Lewis, S.J., shares the following story which brings to life our daily struggle to choose life: A wise old man once imparted this lesson about life to his grandson.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, benevolence, empathy, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old man replied,“The one you feed.”
(From “In Good Company: Information and Insights for Jesuit Collaborators,” Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, Gujarat India, 2016, p. 37)
On this the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, let us do our best to feed “the good wolf “ inside of our hearts!
—Fr. Brian Paulson, S.J. serves as Provincial for Jesuits of the Chicago-Detroit province of the Society of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, you invite me to be your companion in the footsteps of St. Ignatius.
Help me to feel with your heart, to see with your eyes, to touch with your hands.
May your very heartbeat in mine. Fill me with your good and Holy Spirit.
As I make choices each day, give me the grace to choose life—your life—
so that your kingdom might be a little bit more visible in our world.