pray

Gospel

LK 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 

But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 

And he said to the crowd, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 

Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 

“Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, ‘You have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 

“So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Gospel citations come from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Reflection

Beth McMackin 
Notre Dame Parent


Jealousy and greed are recurring themes in the Bible, and the parable of the rich fool is not a story with a happy ending. A wealthy man has more than he needs and decides to build bigger barns to store his goods. He thinks he will keep his wealth to himself and live the good life, but God has other plans for him. 

Having lived through Hurricane Katrina, I like to think I know all about “possessions” and their value. In Katrina’s aftermath we worked and prayed together, and helped each other clean up. In loss, we consoled ourselves that our loved ones were safe. Recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida bring these memories flooding back, though this time we can send a donation to charity. 

Is there more to it than this? Jesus warns us to be on guard against all kinds of greed. Am I greedy? Do I forget to be rich toward God? Yes, I probably do. 

My husband and I are about to be empty nesters. This is more than a little frightening. After 28 years, the house is tidier than ever. We go through closets and donate the useful things to charity, and we look forward to having more time and the means to appreciate this season of life. But what if God has other plans for us? What then? How can we be rich toward God? 

Just as God has sustained and enriched our lives, we should recognize the opportunity to share our goods—material and temporal. If we enrich the lives of those around us, unlike the rich fool, we can hope for the greatest treasure: union with God in heaven!

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Prayer

Father Herbert Yost, CSC 

Father, creator of all, you are the center of all life. Everything in this world points to you and leads us to you. Today we ask you for the grace to keep you at the center of our lives, to use you as the reference point of all our thoughts, words, and actions. Help us to get ourselves out of the center of attention, and put you there. In serving you, we hope to give our best selves to all whom we encounter this day. Amen.

Saint

St. John of Capistrano, you are the patron saint of military chaplains and those who work in the judicial system, pray for us!