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Luke 12:13-21

The Word of God

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."

Luke 12:13-21
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Whenever Jesus meets the crowds, he meets many different needs. People present their sicknesses, tell him of the illness of others, seek out God’s ways and, here, speak of their ordinary concerns. It is often so as I come to pray: needs of different kinds come into my head, petitions surface and arguments come to mind. As Jesus replied to the person in the crowd, he speaks to me that helps me to see what is of lasting importance. Help me, Jesus, not to be distracted by the waves on the surface but to be sensitive to the deeper current that draws me to you.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • Whenever Jesus meets the crowds, he meets many different needs. People present their sicknesses, tell him of the illness of others, seek out God’s ways and, here, speak of their ordinary concerns. It is often so as I come to pray: needs of different kinds come into my head, petitions surface and arguments come to mind. As Jesus replied to the person in the crowd, he speaks to me that which helps me to see what is of lasting importance. Help me, Jesus, not to be distracted by the waves on the surface but to be sensitive to the deeper current that draws me to you.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • We see here that Jesus will not be drawn in to a dispute about possessions. Lord, remind me when my desires are foolish and selfish. You describe the Kingdom of Heaven as a pearl of great price. When I focus on this I feel liberation of spirit, heart and mind to love and serve you.
    • The parable emphasises the stark contrast between a way of having and a way of being. When we have more than we need, we must give what we can to the poor. Otherwise we are ‘fools’ because we miss the point of life. God enables us to amass possessions, but then we are to share them.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Am I ‘greedy’ about anything? Possessions, food, drink, TV, recreation, self-care and so on are good things but they can trap me. I see easily how others get caught, and so I ask Jesus that I may live in the truth which alone sets me free.
    • St Ignatius invites us ‘to keep God always before our eyes’. In the big and small choices I make do I keep an eye on what God would wish me to do?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • That rich man was talking to himself, not to friends; and his talk was all /I/ and /my/. His horizon was bounded by his plans and pleasures. He was a Scrooge chasing a phantom of happiness.
    • Lord, you are warning me not just about greed but about egotism and the unacknowledged misery that it brings. There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.
    • Jesus doesn’t get into a family row here, but focuses on why there is a problem – greed. The story of the rich man is all about himself, about what he has and how he will get even more. Then he can just live a life of leisure. His self-esteem is centred on what he has. This can happen easily in any life – people put their security in health, possessions, reputation, or family. The real self-esteem comes from knowing we are totally loved by the one who creates us minute by minute, and loves us forever.
    • Possessions and wealth can bring us near to God or away from God. They can become the centre of self-absorption rather than a means of helping and coming closer to others. An old saying, 'A shroud has no pockets' is still relevant. We come from God and go to God empty of possessions but full of God's love and the love we have tried to share. Prayer is when we relax into the mystery of being loved and called by God.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • That rich man was talking to himself, not to friends; and his talk was all /I/ and /my/. His horizon was bounded by his plans and pleasures. He was a Scrooge chasing a phantom of happiness.
    • Lord, you are warning me not just about greed but about egotism and the unacknowledged misery that it brings. There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.
    • Jesus doesn’t get into a family row here, but focuses on why there is a problem – greed. The story of the rich man is all about himself, about what he has and how he will get even more. Then he can just live a life of leisure. His self-esteem is centred on what he has. This can happen easily in any life – people put their security in health, possessions, reputation, or family. The real self-esteem comes from knowing we are totally loved by the one who creates us minute by minute, and loves us forever.
    • Possessions and wealth can bring us near to God or away from God. They can become the centre of self-absorption rather than a means of helping and coming closer to others. An old saying, 'A shroud has no pockets' is still relevant. We come from God and go to God empty of possessions but full of God's love and the love we have tried to share. Prayer is when we relax into the mystery of being loved and called by God.