XVIII SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23; colossians 3:1-5, 9-11; luke 12:13-21
henry ford asked an associate about his life goals. the man replied that his goal was to make a million dollars. a few days later ford gave him a pair of specs made out of two dollar coins. he told the man to put them on and asked what he could see. «nothing,» the man said, «the dollars are in the way.» ford told him that if his only goal was making money, he would miss many opportunities. he should invest in reaching out to others, not simply in making money.
money is important; heck, it is necessary! but money is only a means to higher ends. when the «dollars» get in the way of our seeing GOD, others and the world, we are in trouble!
in the gospel, when called to arbitrate in a property dispute, JESUS warns his listeners—through the parable of the rich fool—not to focus on possessions.
the rich man of the parable is a «fool» not because he is rich; but because he trusts inordinately in his riches, he is totally focused on them... to the extent that he cannot see beyond himself. three issues!
a) he is totally self-centred: when he has a problem, he talks it over with himself, with his «soul».
b) all his planning is only for his benefit and comfort. he does not share his abundant resources.
c) he places all his trust in these resources. he has room only for grain, not for GOD.
the man is rich; but extremely poor in his relationships. his focus is his wealth; there is no room for anyone or anything else in his life.
this is why st paul, in the second reading, cautions the colossians: «put to death… the greed that is idolatry.» the first reading, from the book of ecclesiastes, sums up jesus’ teaching!
few of us are as rich as the man in the story; but each of us has riches: talents, time, resources, families…
do my «riches» isolate me from others; or do i share my riches with others and use these to build my relationships? where does my security lie: in the bank or in GOD? on what do i focus: grain/ green/ GOD?
are the «dollars» in the way??