Saturday, July 30, 2022

The man who is rich and a fool.


“Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

"Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”   (Luke 12: 13....21).

Sunday July 31st of the 18th week of Ordinary Time.

The Gospel today shows us where prosperity becomes a risk for everlasting life. Man's extremity is God's opportunity. Man's prosperity is Satan's opportunity.
A perfect example of this in very recent history are Poland and Ireland. Two countries that were proud to be called Catholic. Both countries registered Sunday Mass attendance over 80%. Then both countries were invaded almost simultaneously by western economic imperialism. Both countries succumbed to the lies of Satan. To make a long story short, Catholic Mass and devotional practices were abandoned. Vocations plummeted. Promised worldly prosperity, gone with the wind.

The Scriptures invite us in the words of the 2nd Reading from Colossians 3 to seek what is above where Christ is. In the 1st Reading from Ecclesiastes, we hear that all things are vanity. God indeed has created man for Himself and made his heart restless until it rests in God Himself.

"How happy are the poor in spirit:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5: 3).

In today's Gospel, when the Rich Fool discovers that his business has succeeded beyond his wildest expectations, his instinct is not to donate to the local charities. "I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods." Many Church Fathers commenting on this parable see the consequences of unbridled materialism.

The Scriptures teach that "Man does not live on bread alone" and points to the impossibity of a man trying to drag a camel through the tiny gate of the city. Fool! This very night your soul will be demanded of you.

The Eucharist kills the temptation to greed and materialism.
"I am the bread of life, says the Lord; whoever comes to me will not hunger and whoever believes in me will not thirst." (John 6: 35).

7. 31. We close the page to July, the month we honor the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

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