29th Week in Ordinary Time
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.
Jesus wasn’t about to get pulled into this family dispute. The man questioning Jesus wanted to get his fair share of the inheritance. But Jesus redirected him by telling a parable that encouraged him to make himself rich not in possessions but in “what matters to God” (Luke 12:21). Instead of being interested in how much this man and his brother possessed, Jesus focused on how they used their God-given gifts in line with God’s priorities.
Take a look at the parable: the landowner is called a fool, not because he is wealthy, but because he stockpiled his wealth. He was concerned only for his own comfort and security. He ignored the needs of the people around him. That attitude stands in stark contrast to God’s compassion for the poor and suffering.
How could things have been different? Following ancient Jewish tradition, the landowner could have left gleanings on the edges of his fields for his poorer neighbors instead of reaping every single grain. Better still, he could have urged the townspeople to take bags of grain home to their families. Even more, think of the joy if he had thrown a barn dance so that the whole village could celebrate the harvest together!
We might be tempted to chuckle about this man until we realize that we too have been blessed with a bountiful harvest. Regardless of the amount of material resources we possess, each of us has God-given gifts. Each of us has been given the gift of faith; we have unique talents and loving relationships. These are the gifts we can share with the people around us, instead of keeping them to ourselves.
It could mean sharing your faith by volunteering to help with a children’s Liturgy of the Word or with a Bible study at church. It could mean giving of your time to visit people in a nursing home. Or maybe you could use your green thumb to bring some flowers to a local hospital or to decorate your church.
Let’s share those good things that God has given us. Let’s use them generously to lift people up. That’s the best way to become rich in what matters to God.
“Lord, help me to be rich in compassion and mercy.”
(Psalm) Luke 1:69-75
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