Eighteenth Sunday: LUKE 12: 13-21
The parable of the rich fool gives us two important lessons. First, it reminds us that our possessions are generously given by God and that we are accountable for their use. So we must be generous in sharing our time, our treasures, and our talents with others. The second thing the parable teaches us that our greed can take different shapes and forms. For some, this may be the desire for the approval and praise of others. For others, it is the uncontrolled desire for power and fame. Greed also distracts our lives away from God and away from serving and loving other people.
There is a story about a dog, who found a piece of meat, and he decided to take it home and eat it there, so nobody would bother him, while he was eating. But, on his way home, he had to cross a little bridge over a stream. When he was halfway across, he stopped and looked down into the water, and he saw his reflection in the water and saw another dog with a wonderful piece of meat in its mouth. And, since he was a greedy dog, he decided he could easily get a second piece of meat to eat. But when he opened his mouth and barked at the other dog, he dropped his meat, and it fell into the water and got washed away. The poor greedy dog, who thought he could have two pieces of meat, ended up with no meat at all!
Even though this is a sort of children’s funny story, it gives us the great message that when we are greedy and try to grab what is not ours, we can get into trouble! We have to be grateful for what we already we have! So do not be too greedy!
Let us ask ourselves: Are we greedy with our successes or are we generous? St. Mother Teresa was a living saint; she was also human like all of us. She had her struggles and she went through dark moments in her life. But she never stopped looking to God for her security. She once told a story about picking up a man from a slum, who was half-eaten by worms and bringing him to her home for the sick. He said, “I have lived like an animal in the street but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared for by these nuns.”
Mother Teresa did not say, “Yes, we are successful in saving this man for God.” Instead, Mother admired the greatness of this man who died peacefully without blaming or cursing anyone. This story gives us much to think about. God is so good to us. In many ways, we all have had some successes in using the gifts God has given us. This is something to acknowledge and to acknowledge with gratitude.
We can all be rich in what matters to God. We can’t be like Mother Teresa and her sisters; but we can control our greed and selfishness. We can share what we have with others and look to God for our security. Let us do our work as God’s work, do it well for God’s honor, and do it in gratitude for God’s gifts to all of us. But like the rich man in the story, one day, God will call each of us to His heavenly home and we will have to leave everything behind that we had achieved in this world. There is nothing we can take from this world; we came with empty hands and we go from here with empty hands.
Let us make sure we are investing our time and energies in the right things. Let us store up the treasure of families and friends in the barns of our lives instead of storing up our greed, selfishness, and material possessions in our worldly barns. Let us focus on God and make God the priority in our lives!