Stewards of God’s blessings
Sunday, August 4, 2019 18th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eccl 1:2, 2:21-23
2nd Reading Col 3:1-5, 9-11
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, “Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance.” He replied, “My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?” Then Jesus said to the people, “Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life.”
And Jesus continued with this story, “There was a rich man and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought: ‘What shall I do? For I am short of room to store my harvest.’ So this is what he planned: ‘I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I may say to myself: My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him: ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you; tell me who shall get all you have put aside?’ This is the lot of the one who stores up riches instead of amassing for God.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
“A dog, crossing a bridge over a stream with a piece of bone in his mouth, saw his own shadow in the water and took it for that of another dog, with a piece of bone double his own in size. He immediately let go of his own, and fiercely attacked the other dog to get his larger piece from him” (Fables of Aesop). The lesson is obvious: greed ultimately leaves a person with nothing.
While the selfish hoards only what he owns, the greedy hoards even those that belong to others. The paradox of greed is that it robs the greedy person of spiritual sight, ma-king him blind to the shortness of life. Case in point is the story of the man in today’s Gospel. Consider how the abundant harvest led him to a bad decision. Forgetting he could die any moment, he planned to make a bigger barn to hoard the produce of his farm.
Greed also robs the greedy of healthy self-knowledge. He then acts like an absolute owner of his possessions. Let’s be clear about this: what bestows title upon us over material things is not the fact that we have worked hard to produce them but that we need them to live decently. When we refuse to share what is extra, we commit malversation over God’s resources.
Robbed of the foregoing, what is left of us? Like that dog crossing the bridge, we stand suspended between earth and sky like we belong to neither. Stripped of value we descend to a level lower than that of dogs since dogs at least have owners that see inherent value in them. That’s the paradox of greed: you suck in everything but end up with nothing. –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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