Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reflection on Luke 12: 16-21 (Parable of the Rich Fool)

I just finished reading the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12: 16-21.  It is about a rich man whose land produced a plentiful harvest, and his response was to tear down his old barns and build larger ones to hold all of his 'treasure' for many years.  In his eyes he would always be able to eat well, rest well, and be merry, but God said "You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?"  The lesson here is that God doesn't care about our earthly treasures and riches.  Having lots of money, lots of possessions, and lots of things that we think are going to make us happy mean nothing to God, and don't help us get into Heaven.

I wrote previously about the parable of the Rich Man in Mark, and this has a similar theme.  Our secular society has become enamored with having more and becoming more.  Our kids want more toys and nicer clothes.  As adults we may desire the new car, the new/bigger house, that nice boat for the lake, or to be able to take that vacation to the Caribbean.  But, to what end?  Seemingly for nothing other than some sort of shallow and short term satisfaction.  Now, granted, there are some innocent reasons for needing some of these things (i.e. a larger house for a growing family, a new car to replace an old one to get to work), and the point is not that material things by themselves are bad.  The issue is that we get obsessed and become a slave to these things.

Rather than using our time, talent, and treasure to glorify God and become rich spiritually, we become slaves to material things.  Before we know it, we are making excuses and thinking how we really need that new pair of shoes when in reality we don't and the $50 could buy several cases of food for the local soup kitchen or bedding for the homeless shelter.  We have to work those long hours in order to keep the high paying job that pays for the nice house at the expense of spending time with our families or at Church.  We skip Church on Sunday so we can take out the new boat on the lake that we just bought.  We focus so much on the house we need, the cars we need, and how much money we need for retirement 20 years from now that we don't stop to think, "what if I'm not here?"  "What if I am called to God before then?" "Will I be able to say I fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, or clothed the naked?"  Or, will I have an excuse that is rooted in my own desire to have more?

We have all heard the saying "live like there is no tomorrow", but it's time to think about this in context of our eternal life.  Even if our earthly time comes to an end, are we ready for eternity?  There is going to be a tomorrow, but are we prepared for it?  How about, "live like your eternal life starts tomorrow!"

I am as guilty as anybody here.  I pray that my reflections on Sacred Scripture help me make better choices and maybe others that happen to read this as well.

1 comment:

  1. Very powerful message Jeremy. Your blog is inspirational.