Gospel Reflection- Monday (17 October) – 29th week of Ordinary Time – Guard against greed
Anne O’Brien, Director of Mission at St Agnes’ Catholic Parish, reads from the Gospel of Luke (12: 13-21) in which Jesus says, ‘Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for a person’s life is not made secure by what they own, even when they have more than they need’.
Anne says, in this Gospel, Luke is wanting us to look for a deeper theological meaning. Luke is challenging us to think deeply. He wants us to really think about the message Jesus is trying to share.
Before we do, Anne says, it is good to remember that Jesus’ contemporaries lived lives of immense hardship, under very harsh social and political conditions. Famine or land appropriation were a constant threat for subsistence farmers suffering under excruciating taxation practices.
In this situation, the landowner who stores his surplus crop, instead of helping to feed and support poorer families, would not have won the sympathy of Jesus’ listeners. They will have enjoyed this simple reminder that even unscrupulous people like this landowner will die, and his grand plans will look very foolish.
Jesus tells this parable as a warning against greed, and Luke is offering a deeper theological meaning asking us to think about the ways in which I am ‘rich towards God’? The parable warns us against greed and Jesus is challenging us… What does ‘rich’ mean in the eyes of God?
Anne invites us to pray: Jesus help me to see the richness in my life not in the value of material things and possessions but in the inner depths of my heart. Help me to be the person whose inner richness looks out for others and care for those in need. Amen.