New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Proper 13: Year C
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you.” (Luke 12:20)
This passage is taken from the parable of the “Rich Fool.” This parable is used by Jesus to show a younger brother that his desire for wealth made wealth his idol. Moreover, he would do well to not worry about material things but rather the kingdom of heaven.
To be clear the rich man in the parable that Jesus uses to teach from is not an evil man. He has not cheated his workers or stolen anything. However, he has benefited from the sun, the soil, and the rains in due season. Because of this trifecta of blessings he obtained wealth. And this wealth becomes his god and begins to own him. It has him talking to himself. It has him planning for himself only. It has him living for himself only. And finally, it even has him congratulating himself. Where is the Creating, Redeeming and Sanctifying God in his plan, his life, his living and his praise?
Jesus comes into the world after money comes into the world. Before the coins of currency, time was a big issue. People had to trade before crops spoiled. And there was great dependence on God for tomorrow’s sustenance. Money begins to avert our dependence on God. Money then became a god.
All around the rich fool were the poor. But apparently it never occurred to him to share his stores with them. I know people who don’t have much. And by the way they distribute what little they do have, they probably never will. But they give to the needy, They give to the children of the poor. They give to their church. They are rich in the Kingdom of God! Instead of being rich fools, they are the holy saints of heaven that will dwell in light eternal. Because they are looking after the poor and lonely in this world, God will take care of them in the next. Thank You Jesus.
I have worked with families who fought bitterly over wealth at the time of the death of an older family member. It is not pretty. I think what is saddest about it is the concern and energy put into wanting the money and property of the deceased. I have also seen the property fights regarding divorce settlements, again, not pretty. Instead of thinking about what we need, we think about what we can get.
We should focus our desire on the Kingdom of heaven and go back in our corporate spiritual ancestry and learn to re-trust in God for tomorrow’s sustenance. God is God before time began. God was God when we depended on the short life of crops and livestock. That same God is our God today. Just because we have coins, currency, credit cards, stocks and bonds we are not out from under the domain of God. This is the God before time. This is the God before money. This is the God of now. And, this is the God that always will be. This God is watching how we use our borrowed resources during the little time we are here. We should not want to be so much concerned with who will get what remains of our wealth after we are gone. Rather, we want to be concerned with where our soul remains after we are gone. This very night your life could be demanded of you.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John