18th Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23: What does the man gain for all his toil? The attitude of the affluent towards their possessions is called “vanity.”
II Reading: Colossians 3: 1-5.9-11: You must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is. A warning against materialism, greed and intolerance.
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21: This hoard of yours, whose will it be? The parable of the rich fool, highlighting the futility of greed.
The Parable of the Rich Fool:
The Man of Wealth and What He Should Fear, Lk 12:13-21
Our life must be with full of joy and full of meaning and not with emptiness in life. “Vanity of vanities.” All things are vanity. This would mean, “everything is emptiness.” The word “vanity” is 25 times in the book. But the preacher also discovers the meaningful life: “Revere God and keep his commandments.” Your life will have meaning if you do, and no one ever regretted having done so when his life on earth came to an end. We must not replace God with our riches, possessions, power and greed etc. Jesus warns the greedy for his/her possessions which hinder to enter into the kingdom of God. The will of God regarding money and possession is to help and support the poor, the needy and to continue good works in the society. Let us work hard to inherit the eternal life on earth and as in heaven.
Let us examine the parable:
a) the farmer was a self-centred person: he said 6 times “I”, “Mine”, “My”. He did not even said once about God or his gift.
b) The farmer forgot about God and had self-satisfaction only.
c) The sudden shock: Jesus’ uttering a loud “Fool….”
The purpose of our life is to become rich in God’s sight as saint Paul would say in the second reading: a new life at baptism, a life that cannot be destroyed (Col 3:1). We should have Life in the Spirit. “We were clothed n Christ” (Gal 3:27). It is not I who live but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20).
The man of wealth is often self –sufficient, but there are some things he needs to fear.
1. A request for Jesus to give a judicial decision (v.13-14)
a. Brother’s desire for an inheritance and wealth
b. Jesus’ stern refusal
2. Fear this: Life does not consists in things (v.15-19)
a. The serious charge: watch out! Beware
b. The big sin: Greed or covetousness
c. The big “I” (6 times, 16-19): aggressively self-centred
d. The big mistake: self-indulgence and extravagant living
3. Fear this: your life may be required and demanded tonight (v.20)
4. Fear this: wealth is not a permanent possession-someone else gets it (v.20-21)
Our greatest treasure on earth is the Life in the Spirit and to live with Christ. Money and possessions are God’s gifts to help the poor and needy; we should make use of them in order to become spiritually rich. Our possessions should not become an obstacle on our way to God, as Jesus said to the rich young man, it is easier for a camel to enter into the eye of a needle than a rich man.
Greed-Covetousness (pleonexia): a craving, a desire for more. It is greediness, a dissatisfaction with what is enough. It includes for both material things and fleshly indulgence. It is desiring what belongs to others; snatching at something that belongs to others; a love of having, a cry of give me, give (2Pet 2:14; Mt 6:19-21, 24; 16:26; Eph 5:3-5)