Gospel: Lk 12:13-21
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? All right, 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.”
Thích Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, narrates the story of a person who lost his cows. It is a story of freedom from acquisition and possession mentality. If we have to live differently today, we have to let go of what is not essential and hold on to what matters most. Such a movement is not easy because it demands an inner conversion and letting go of fears and securities. The gospel invites us to live with the same simplicity of heart and needs. One day the Buddha was sitting with a group of monks in the woods near the city of Sravasti. They had just finished a mindful lunch and were engaged in a small Dharma discussion. Suddenly a farmer came by. He was visibly upset and shouted, “Monks! Have you seen my cows?“ The Buddha said, “No. we have not seen any cows“ “You know, monks,“ the man said, “I am the most miserable person on earth. For some reason, my twelve cows all ran away this morning. I have only two acres of sesame seed plants, and this year the insects ate them all. I think I am going to kill myself. The farmer was really suffering. Out of compassion, the Buddha said, “No. sir, we have not seen your cows. Maybe you should look for them elsewhere“ When the farmer was gone, the Buddha turned to his monks, looked at them deeply, smiled, and said, “Dear friends, do you know that you are the happiest people on Earth? You don‘t have any cows to lose“ (laughter). So, my friends, if you have cows, (laughter), look deeply into the nature of your cows to see whether they have been bringing you happiness or suffering. You should learn the art of releasing your cows. The key thing is to let go and free yourself. A monk or nun is supposed to leave everything behind in order to be a free person. A monk or nun should have only three robes and one bowl, because freedom is the most valuable possession.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018