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Are You Rich in What Matters to God?
Gospel Reflection for October 23, 2023
“Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘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.’” (Luke 12:13-21 NABRE)
We often get caught up in our own pursuits, and we sometimes allow these tasks, goals, and dreams of ours to distract us from our relationship with God. Our energy and thoughts tend to become so directed towards our own wills and desires, that we begin to neglect our call to love and serve the Lord with our entire being. It becomes quite difficult to love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul, when we are not taking the time to focus these faculties on Him.
This is exactly what happened with the man in today’s Gospel. He set his heart on that which was temporal, and didn’t pursue what truly mattered to God. Rather than living with an eternal perspective and striving to do God’s will, he focused only on passing things and his own will.
We all do this so often! We allow ourselves to become distracted by the ongoings of our lives, and we fail to focus on what truly matters. In other words, we allow the physical world to distract us from the spiritual.
The time we spend on our work, school, relationships, home life, entertainment, hobbies, and whatever else, can pull us away from the Lord if we’re not too careful. Though these things can be good, beneficial, and necessary in our daily lives, we must never allow our attention to be focused solely on that which is passing. The man in today’s Gospel sought to prepare something worldly, rather than preparing his soul for eternity.
May we always tend to our relationship with God throughout our daily lives, and always remain in a spirit of prayer through all that we do. May we actively grow in holiness, virtue, and purity, and root out anything in our lives that distracts us or obstructs us from these things that truly matter.
“What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Mt. 16:26)