The Gospel Today
Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God.”
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian Abu):
The reminder of Jesus in the Gospel is very clear, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” The wealth of the person does not define who he is nor will it safeguard his salvation. The material things that we are possessing, regardless of how plenty they are, cannot guarantee that we can already control everything especially the things about our soul. This riches may give us security in terms of big houses, bountiful food, branded things or latest cars yet this same riches may lead us to our eternal damnation. So, does it mean that when I am rich I cannot go to heaven and be saved?
With the way we live our lives today, following the trends of our very consumeristic and materialistic society, it is quite difficult to focus our attention to what are really important and necessary. We normally assess the value of each person, even our own selves, according to what or how much possessions the person has. We are easily affected when others have more possessions than we. We try to accumulate as many material things we can have, thinking that these will make us accepted by the present society.
Let us be reminded that in today’s Gospel, God calls the rich man fool not because he has many possessions but merely because his possessions led him to neglect the far greater importance of God in his life. When we are already attached to the material things that we have, we normally think that these things can bring us salvation. Rich people can also be saved if they will just focus on the love of God and not lording over their possessions. The material things that we have should not hinder us to feel and act according to the will of God. Let us seek to become rich in what matters to God.