July 31, 2016
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The obvious theme of this gospel for us is that “you can’t take it with you”. It’s good to remember this, and it’s also good to know that according to Luke, Jesus told the parable of the rich fool when he was on his way to Jerusalem where he would be executed. So, clearly, he was focusing on what matters most in our lives.
We live in a society where it is desirable for us to take care of ourselves and our families and save some resources in case we encounter bad times. People who are on welfare are generally not respected, and although many will give voluntarily to people in need, we tend to resent what we call “government handouts”. It is probably good that those who can, earn their own livings and hopefully contribute to the wellbeing of the larger society by doing so. But don’t we go overboard in our refusal to see all people as one united community?
The concern in this gospel is that accumulating wealth is not the main purpose of human life. Our lives should not consist solely of the things we possess. There are more important considerations. So we should ask ourselves what really does matter to God and what is the real purpose of our lives.