Strive to be Rich! (Sort of...)
Gospel Reflection for October 17, 2022
“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 12:16-21 NABRE)
This parable that Jesus told in today’s Gospel, is a warning against greed and selfishness, and it serves as a reminder that this life is temporary. The man in the story thought only of himself as he stored up his wealth and celebrated his prosperity. He spent his last moments concerning himself with worldly things that did not have eternal significance. And for this reason, God called him a fool. Though the man was “rich,” he died in a state of spiritual poverty.
We often spend so much time focused on the things of this world. We so easily get caught up in the chaos and busyness of our lives. Like the man in the story, we all have something that keeps us from focusing on God. The man’s focus was wealth. Now, maybe you’re not chasing after some fancy worldly treasure, like he did… but maybe something else has your attention. Perhaps you’re being pulled in so many different directions, that you simply feel distracted from your spiritual walk with God.
Whatever it is, this parable challenges us to view our lives with an eternal perspective. It prompts us to consider how we would live each day, if we knew it would be our last. Would you spend your last day distracted from God? Or would you make Him a priority? Would you live your last moments selfishly, or would you strive to act with selflessness? This story encourages us to ask ourselves: if I were going to die tonight, would this thing that I’m focused on, worrying about, angry over, or upset with, really matter? In the very end, we’ll discover that the best time we spent on earth was the time we spent with God and living for Him. So, are you living like the man who stored up wealth for himself, or are you growing rich in what matters to God?