Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
In today’s Gospel passage from Luke, Jesus is approached with a request to settle an inheritance dispute. This provides an opportunity for Him to warn against greed and seeking earthly possessions above all else.
Christ reminds us that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. Our worth is not measured by what we own. True life and joy are found in our relationship with God and with one another.
As we prepare to reflect on this Gospel message, let us open our minds and hearts to hear what the Lord wishes to say to us today. Let us receive His word with faith, knowing that it has the power to transform our lives if we put it into practice.
May the Lord be with you now as we ponder the truths contained in this parable. Let us ask for the grace to live with detachment from earthly wealth, keeping our focus on the eternal treasures of God’s Kingdom. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may this word of God take root and bear fruit in our lives.
Title: Riches Beyond Riches: Finding True Wealth in God
Scripture: Luke 12:13-21
13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
The parable we hear today from the Gospel of Luke issues a strong warning against greed and an unhealthy attachment to material possessions.
A man in the crowd says to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” He seems consumed with gaining more for himself. Jesus refuses to arbitrate and instead tells the parable of the rich fool.
There was a rich man whose land produced an abundant harvest. But instead of generously sharing the surplus with others, the man thinks only of hoarding it all for himself. He tears down his old barns and builds even bigger ones to store his grain and goods.
This rich man’s fatal flaw is not his wealth itself, but his disordered attachment to it. He believes his large accumulations of grain will guarantee his security and fulfillment. He says to himself, “You have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” Tragically, God says to him, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you.”
My friends, what good are material riches if we lose eternal life? As Jesus warns, one’s life does not consist of possessions. The rich fool is blind to what really matters. He is so consumed with accumulating and indulging in his wealth, that he forgets about God.
Christ calls us to a different attitude toward money and possessions. We are called to be stewards who generously share what God has given us, not hoarders seeking only to gratify ourselves. Our heart must be rooted in the kingdom of God, not attached to temporary things.
The riches we ought to pursue are spiritual ones – growing in holiness, loving God and neighbor, becoming rich in virtue. These are the true treasures that will last into eternity.
Let us take a candid look at how we use our own time, talents, and treasure. Do we share generously, or do we cling tightly to what we have? Do we seek God first, storing up heavenly riches, or do we put material things before the kingdom?
By God’s grace, may we become rich in what matters to Him. May we fix our hearts on Christ alone, who is our true wealth. Compared to the infinite treasure of knowing Him, everything else fades away.
I pray that we will build up treasure in heaven by living as generous and faithful stewards. May the grace of God free us from disordered attachments, so that we may joyfully share the abundant spiritual and material gifts He has so graciously bestowed upon us.
A Deeper Dive
Problems like this were often brought to rabbis for them to settle.
Jesus’ response, though not direct to the topic, is not a change of subject.
Rather, Jesus is pointing to a broader issue – a correct attitude toward the accumulation of wealth.
Life is more than material goods; far more is our relationship with God.
Jesus put his finger on this questioner’s heart.
When we bring problems to God in prayer, he often responds in the same way, showing us how we need to change and grow in our attitude toward the problem.
His answer is often not the one we were looking for, but it is more effective in helping us trace God’s hand in our lives.
Jesus says that the good life has nothing to do with being wealthy, so be on guard against greed (desire for what we don’t have)
This is the exact opposite of what society usually says.
Advertisers spend millions of dollars to entice us to think that if we buy more and more of their products, we will be happier, more fulfilled, more comfortable.
How do you respond to the constant pressure to buy?
Learn to tune out expensive enticements and concentrate instead on the truly fulfilled life – living in a relationship with God and doing his work.
The rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns.
Planning for retirement – preparing for life before death – is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous.
If you accumulate wealth only to enrich yourself, with no concern for helping others, you will enter eternity empty-handed.
Why do you save money?
Are you saving for retirement?
To buy more expensive cards or “toys?
To be secure?
Jesus challenges us to think beyond earthbound goals and to use what we have been given for God’s Kingdom.
Faith, service, and obedience are the way to become rich toward God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The parable we have heard today from the Gospel of Luke reminds us that material possessions cannot satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart. Our Lord Jesus Christ warns against greed and calls us to be rich toward God instead.
As we go forth from this holy Mass, may we have the wisdom to see earthly wealth for what it is – fleeting and unable to bring lasting joy. Instead, let us seek the imperishable treasures of God’s Kingdom. Through lives of prayer, charity and service to others, let us store up for ourselves treasure in heaven.
May God grant us the grace to use wisely all the good gifts He has bestowed upon us, for His greater glory and for the good of all people.
Let us seek first the Kingdom of God. If we make this our priority, all else will be given to us as well.
I impart my blessing upon you all in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!