Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, “Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance.” He replied, “My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?” Then Jesus said to the people, “Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life.”
And Jesus continued, “There was a rich man, and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought, ‘What shall I do, for I am short of room to store my harvest? Alright, I know what I shall do: I will pull down my barns and I will build bigger ones, to store all this grain, which is my wealth.
“Then I will say to myself: My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you. Tell me, who shall get all you have put aside?’ This is the lot of the one who stores up riches for himself and is not wealthy in the eyes of God.”
The attitude of Jesus in this Gospel is extremely important for our pastoral ministry.
As priests or lay leaders we are flattered when others submit to our judgment a delicate situation of family or financial concerns that often occur together. Instinctively we would like to intervene. We look for more information and begin to consider possible solutions. Instead Jesus declines to get involved in the case. There are officials who are tasked for cases like this in the cities.
However, Jesus uses the occasion to enlarge the vision of the audience. Behind the case is a problem of financial enrichment which the Gospel specially applies in a short parable. One very abundant harvest seems to assure happiness for years. We can apply this to the financially increasing material goods in modern society. It may seem that we have money enough for many years but God can knock at any moment even through sudden natural disasters and call us back. The evident application is that we must be rich before God. We must prepare here on earth our eternal treasure. The Canadian Martyrs placed their treasure in heaven.
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