There’s certain scriptures that I automatically apply to others and not myself. “Oh yes, that is so foolish for that person to act that way…thank God it’s not the way I think about things.” Well today was one of those readings…. The story of the foolish rich man who decided to tear down his barn and build bigger ones so that he would have plenty of money and goods to last a lifetime….rest, eat, drink, and be merry…..”. Of course Jesus pops his balloon quickly ….” ‘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.”(Luke 12:13-21)
Today when I heard that reading it hit me in a new way. When we store up treasure for ourselves but are not rich in what matters to God, Jesus calls us fools. He cautions us to guard against all greed. I’m not immune to that greed. I need to be careful that I don’t spend too much of my time and energy thinking about my bank account, about my retirement. Gee, if I live to be 90, will I have enough …. hey, people are living to be 103….will there be enough?
Commercials on T.V. speak to that tendency in older people toward fear and greed. They picture the nice looking couple, a very young 60, on a beautiful island , having a terrific dinner overlooking the water, smiling and happy….. all because they did some wonderful financial planning with XYZ Finance, Inc. The commercial ends with the concerned voice…” remember, you can never have too much savings….. if you don’t build that bigger barn, you can end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge.” Yikes.
Well, here’s a question from our heavenly financial analyst…. “am I trading off the riches that matters to God for worldly treasure and security”. It’s a very good question. While we certainly need to show prudence in caring for ourselves and our family, we shouldn’t do this at the expense of keeping the Lord and his will first in our lives. I remember years ago someone asking the question, “how do I balance saving for my needs of tomorrow (e.g. savings and insurance) against my neighbor’s needs of today.” Wow, that can be a tough question that requires prayer, prudence and discussion.
Woe, this is not a very light hearted BLOG. What happened to “Padre Pio going to Shoprite”. Okay, let’s just calm down. I’m not giving any answers here, I’m just proposing some good questions that Jesus seems to be asking. And if we prayerfully consider these questions, the Holy Spirit will help us to hear good answers that will bring us peace…. peace now and forever. And that is very good news.