A person’s life is not made secure by what they own

Tony Worner reads today’s Gospel from Luke (12: 13-21) in which Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool.

Tony notes that these verses from Luke, begin the next section in the structure of Luke’s Gospel with the theme “when he comes”. It continues for the next nine days ending with Luke’s version of the parable of the mustard seed and leaven. Some scholars see this parable as a summary of this section.

This section opens with Jesus being asked, as a person of authority and influence, to make a ruling in a legal squabble. Much can be said on why Jesus immediately responds the way he does, using the terms “judge” and “arbitrator”. However, I want to reflect on the parable Jesus tells, traditionally called ‘The Rich Fool’, which we only find in Luke’s Gospel. This parable is warning about the hoarding of or building up of or making something more important than our relationship with God.

Throughout the centuries, various saints of the church have called to mind the need to live simply and embrace a life of poverty. People in religious life, too, take a vow of poverty. In essence, this is about simplicity, having and sharing a healthy spirit of detachment.

St Augustine spoke of the restlessness of the heart until it rests in God. The restless heart can be a good thing as it invites us to seek a deeper meaning of life.

In the parable we heard, Jesus tell about a rich man who needs more room to store his abundant crop. The rich man is more concerned with hoarding his material possessions than seeking other riches – the riches of the Spirit.

Do we have room for God’s love and peace in our lives? How restless are we to embrace the spirit of simplicity and poverty?

Tony invites us to pray…
God, when we do well and get things right, teach us to be grateful and to delight in what you have given us. Help us value the things that lead us to you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.