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? 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.”
Our Lord reminds us to guard ourselves from every kind of greed, for even though we have many possessions, it is not that which gives us life (cf. v.15). Greed or avarice (pleonexia) is a vice that always seeks more possessions. It leads one to keep on acquiring for more without ceasing. This vice is equated with idolatry in Colossians 3:5. Sometimes possessions become ”gods” for other people. Human life or even one‘s soul is sacrificed just to acquire them. In order to free ourselves from this oppressive vice we must learn temperance and we must begin sharing what we have to the needy. Notice that in vv. 18-19 the ‘fool‘ frequently uses the terms ‘I‘ and ‘my.‘ His self-centeredness leads him to exclude God and neighbor from his concerns.
When our focus is only ourselves but God and neighbor are removed from our concerns, we rely much on worldly things and pleasures. Even if we are seemingly fulfilled but in the end we are totally empty. Our life becomes meaningful only if we acknowledge God and give alms to the needy. Thus, instead of desiring much for earthly things and be led into sin, we should use our possessions to serve others and God.