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Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, October 23, 2023


Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me." He replied to him, "Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?" Then he 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 the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God."


Reflection

I think this is such a powerful quote, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions”. It got me thinking of how Jesus didn’t just say greed but, “all greed”, it made me wonder what other types of greed there are besides the obvious of wanting for more things. And I realized you can be greedy in more than just a want for more possessions. Greed is not limited to the desire for material things but extends to a broader spectrum of human desires. We can be greedy for status, recognition, power, and especially for certain emotions. Greed really boils down to any selfish desire, and I think this quote really forces us to look at ourselves and contemplate if we have been acting on our own selfish desires that will distract us from what truly matters.

The parable Jesus goes on to tell is also an echo of this quote. It is a reminder to us that the accumulation of material possessions should never define our existence. Our true purpose lies beyond earthly wealth and objects. We are made for heaven and when we die we will not be taking earthly possessions with us, which leads to the question…why then do we put so much time and energy into them? Why do we want for things so badly? I think majority would answer this by saying, because it makes them happy, or it is what gives them joy. But simply put this is a short-term emotion we feel, anything of this earth will not grant us lasting happiness, only God can. Furthermore, Jesus calls the man in the parable a fool for his greed, hoarding all his possessions thinking it would secure his future and happiness. What the man failed to realize is that he wasted his short and limited life on earth consumed with granting his desires and feeding his greed, thinking it would bring him lasting comfort and joy, when everlasting joy can only be found in heaven. Instead of being so absorbed with earthly desires I think it is important for us to fix our eyes on Jesus and set our sights for the true eternal happiness, heaven.

One way we can do this is by surrounding ourselves with people who will support and walk with us on our journey to heaven and will help us to become more Christ-like.

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