Monday, October 19, 2015

Reflection: Luke 12:13-21

Monday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 12:13-21

Today’s Gospel begins with an individual in the crowd asking Jesus:  “Teacher, tell my brother (or sister) to share his/her inheritance with me.”  Jesus responds to this person’s statement by saying: “Friend, who appointed me as your judge or arbitrator?”  Then he adds: “Take care to guard against all greed.  For though a person may be rich, one’s life cannot be measured by the number of possessions the person has accumulated.
In today’s world, we hear or see numerous ads every day on television, radio, the internet and bulletin boards.  We are bombarded with messages enticing us to buy clothing, electronics, a new car or a new computer.  Count the number of commercials on TV or radio today.  The sad thing is: many of us have come to believe that “more” is better or the newest computer or car is essential for the good life.
Today Jesus tells the crowd the story of the rich man.  This rich man had a great deal of land and it typically produced a bountiful harvest.  This year’s crop was such a good yield that the man did not have a barn large enough to store his crop.  After giving it some thought, the man decided to tear down his barns (notice the plural) and build larger barns.  This would give him room for the grain and he also could store some of his numerous possessions.  Stockpiling this wealth would ensure that he would be able to “eat, drink and be merry” for many years.
Sounds like the good life, doesn’t it?  The reality is that many people work very hard to ensure that they will have a good life.  However, God says to this man: “You fool!  This night your very life will be demanded of you!  And everything you have worked so hard to accumulate will belong to others.”  Jesus then adds: “Thus will it be for the person who stores up earthly treasures for him/herself but who is not rich in what matters to God.
In today’s world, we are enticed on every front to accumulate wealth, possessions and status.  Yet today Jesus reminds us that when we die our wealth, our possessions and status will not matter.  The only criterion we will be judged on is whether we have worked to accumulate the riches only God can give.  Today may be a good day to ask ourselves: Who and what is most important in my life?  Is it money, status, possessions, esteem?  Or is it the people that I love or the many individuals who are in need?  Do I strive to make a difference in our world by my love, care and generosity?  Do I freely share the many gifts that God has given me?
Today and every day we are paving our road to heaven.  What is the path we will pave today by our choices?   Will Jesus approve of this path?  I pray so!

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