BY: BRO. Geroge Diones [cjm]
In our gospel today, it begins with a request. Someone in the crowd asked Jesus to settle a fight over an inheritance. Jesus turned the problem back by answering the person asking with another question: who made me your judge? And the question was lead to a teaching on the significance of wealth.
Jesus told the Parable of a Rich Fool, self-centered man who on the eve of his great material surplus and died. In life, the rich man hoarded, but in death, what he desired was taken away, leaving his heart empty and his character empty. Before God as judge, the rich man lacked what was truly important.
The gospel teaches us to store up what is really important, that is “faith in God and active compassion for one's neighbor.” Faith in God banish in time the troubles and problems of life. Compassion also banished the face of greed. Together, faith and compassion challenge what people believe is important in life.
In our world today we are always encouraged to get more or to acquire more, for example, in the advertisements today people are pushed to be more than what they are or what they have. That is why we do not know how to be contented of what we have. They desire for more, they want to acquire more. Take the case of some of our government leaders; they are not contented by salaries they received, they want to accumulate more to the point of stealing. That is greed.
I think this parable has two main points. First, as we live here on earth, we are not to devote our lives in gathering and accumulation of wealth. As we know the reality of our people today, we see them as people who are singularly devoted to the accumulation of wealth. Sometimes they don’t have even time for God. What happens to all the wealth when they die? It will be left behind to others who didn’t earn it, or the worse thing is that the family fights for each other over the wealth.
The second point is that, if we are not blessed by God to have more wealth for ourselves I think we are called to be the blessing in the lives of others. We are blessed to build the kingdom of God. The book of Psalms says “if the riches increase, we are not to set our hearts upon them.” St. Paul clearly says in his letter to the Corinthians, “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” We are blessed by God, so we can in turn “abound in every good work” and be a blessing in the lives of others. So, if God has blessed you with material wealth “set not your heart on it” but “be rich toward God.”