12th Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: St. Luke 12:13-21
Two things stand out about this rich man in our scriptures in this parable.
First, he never saw beyond himself. Second, he never saw the need for the eternal kingdom that is open to all who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
We go into God’s closet and are shown a brand new pair of threads that are made just for us. Are we lost in the material things of this world?
In Christ, we are dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item in our new way of life is custom-made by our Creator with His label. A new Easter outfit cannot be worn with our old, smelly tennis shoes. Our new clothes of renewal cannot be worn out with our shoes and stinky socks of anger, malice, and slander. Once we put on the garments God has created for us, we must rid ourselves of the filthy garments of this world.
The image of filthy rags works for this present world only. We think very highly of our closets overflowing with the latest styles for today. However, in this parable Luke turns our attention away from our earthly positions to the eternal treasures that are meant to define our labors for the Lord. Even new Easter clothes don’t make it into the eternal kingdom of God.
We are to turn our hearts to labor to cultivate the true eternal gifts of our Lord. The scriptures from Luke and 2 Colossians 3:1-11 could not be more aligned in their meaning. The scriptures tell us to set our minds on the things that are above, not on the things of this earth. We are, therefore, to store treasures that are rich in God’s love for us in abundance.
The rich fools’ total lives and labors are totally centered on the material labors of this life.
His words were on himself: I, me, my, mine
A schoolboy was asked what part of speech is “my” or “mine.” He answered, “Aggressive pronouns.” The rich fool was aggressively self-centered.
· “my crops”
· “my barn”
· “I know”
· “I’ll tear down”
· “my small barns and build bigger ones”
· “then I’ll sit back and live the good life”
But the Lord said to him, “Fool, your life will be taken from you this very night. Then, who will get all your earthly treasures.”
While not many of us think we are rich fools, when we are compared with people in our community and the world who have little or nothing, we are living in abundance. How have we used our blessings to express our love unto the Lord? Are we still using our blessings for earthly things?
What is wrong is that there are more rich fools still seeking to tear down their little barns and build bigger ones to store up more? Jesus tells us not to be concerned about what we will eat or wear. If He feeds the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air, who neither sew nor reap, how much more are we taken care of than these creatures, us who were created in Jesus’ very image.
Let us pray!