Gospel – 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 all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”
Reflection on the Gospel
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
What do we tell our children when they are sent to school: get good grades. The reason? So, you will be successful later in life. Just what is success? The world says that success is getting lots of money and lots of material things. The reasons our young are given to join the military is to get a decent wage, housing, healthcare, etc. The main reason for the U.S. military is to protect what is considered ours alone, also to be able to gain economic wealth from other countries. What is the reason why many Americans do not want migrants to come into the U.S.? It seems we do most everything for the sake of gaining more and more material gain for ourselves, and fear it will be lost to our neighbors. We are not ready to share what we have with those in need. We somehow believe that we will be happier if we have lots of material things and make sure you do not lose these things. We tend to want to be materially rich, not spiritually rich.
Paul tells us that we need to be more concerned about things above, not the things of the earth. When a young man asked Christ to tell his brother to share the inheritance money, Christ told him that he should not store up material things while on earth, but rather to do good works. He should not be concerned about earthly things, but he should rather concern oneself with living a life of love for one another. He who lays up treasure for oneself is not rich in the eyes of God. The one who shares one’s treasure is rich in the eyes of God.
Jesus cautions his followers about trying to gain more and more for oneself. What is the real reason for not readily accepting others into the country? Is it for our own selfish benefits, or is it for the benefit of those wanting to come. We forget that hospitality is practicing our Christian beliefs. Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, once said, “Hospitality is more than opening a door, serving a meal and offering a bed. It is opening our hearts to the needs of others.”
Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever