Today’s Gospel: Luke 12, 13-21 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The rich man’s plan sounds like a pretty good deal to me. “Relax, eat, drink and be merry” — where’s the harm in that? Can’t this fellow just enjoy what he’s lawfully earned? As always, however, there is a supernatural challenge to Christ’s stories.
There’s one thing our rich man can’t plan for. He has goods stored up for many years, but no abundant fields will grant him length of days. In planning ahead, he’s neglected to plan for death, and so his Creator calls him out.
Christ’s challenge to us in this parable is more than a bit scary. No one likes to be called a fool, and none of us is prepared to hear those words: This very night your life is being demanded of you. If only we all had fair warning for our deaths! But in presenting the story of this anxious millionaire, Christ gives us the key to facing death in peace: So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.
“Rich toward God” is a strange phrase. How could we possibly acquire good credit with Him to whom we owe all? Perhaps by building up not a storehouse of grain, but a storehouse of good works. The corporal and spiritual Works of Mercy give us a myriad of options to use our surplus — whether physical or spiritual — to invest in richness towards God. Our rich man failed in looking only to himself, rather than to those in need around him. Let’s not make the same mistake! And when our lives, too, are demanded of us, let us be able to point to a full ledger of good works.
If I knew today that my death was imminent, what does my life look like in the light of eternity? What is one good work or sacrifice by which I can make myself “rich toward God”?
Father, guide me in using my possessions and talents rightly, always remembering others and eternity.
Copyright 2016 Rebecca Willen
Rebecca is young professional who recently graduated from Christendom College. She is a book addict, Shakespeare fangirl, lover of tradition, amateur writer, proofreader, and yes, a nerd. Through love for the power and beauty of the written word, she hopes someday to work as an editor in Catholic publishing. Rebecca blogs at Our Hearts are Restless.