A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 12:13-21
"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 all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God." The Gospel of the Lord
+Prayer Come Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, enlighten, guide, strengthen, console me, show me the Father's Will. Amen
Have you ever set out on a journey and found, that you "got off track somehow?" You had hoped to reach St Louis before nightfall, but for some reason you are still in Peoria and you ask yourself at dinnertime; now how did this happen? What held me up so long? And then you recount the day: you realize; well, I did stop at 3 restaurants and then I shopped at a few stores I like to go to, and I bought many books, even though I have a library at home and the list goes on. Its "stuff" that slows us down and gets us 'off track.' Perhaps that is what our Lord is talking about in the gospel this Sunday. The "stuff" that slows us down. Greed; the passionate inordinate desire to possess more and more and more "things!"; turning a "means into an end." Greed is dangerous because it gets us off track, it consumes us and obstructs the vision of our heart; from being focused on the one thing that really matters. We can learn many things in this passage.
Let us look at a few: 1st: "Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator" How often we look at our Lord in just this way: We ask him to "fix things" in favor. But our Lord makes it very clear-he doesn't want this kind of relationship with us: the "go to person" when we want stuff. He wants US! He doesn't want to be a "means to an end." He wants to BE ALL for us, because he loves us, and we settle for lesser gods. We run the great risk all the time of living on the surface; chasing after 'stuff' which is never can fill the heart, because our hearts are made for greater things. Do I allow Jesus to draw me deeper in my relationship with him? 2nd possible place to ponder prayerfully: "Take care to guard against all greed", the word is "all." What am I greedy for? What do I cling to and think about all the time? If it is taken away, it steals my peace? Mother Teresa always told us, if you look where your thoughts went all day, what disturbed you, what consumed you; you will find what you are attached to, it might even be something non-material, maybe we are greedy for praise, recognition, honors? 3rd place: "He asked himself, 'what shall I do?' Note, Who is the man talking to? Who is he seeking answers from? What conclusion did he arrive at? Where am I doing this, allow Jesus to show you. All of these places of prayer are powerful places to enter. Follow wherever the Lord leads you. For the sake of this Lectio we will look at the very last four words; "what matters to God." What does matter to God? Because this is the one question worth finding out.
I remember in High School taking a Geometry exam. The teacher was sharp, he taught well, but I struggled with the subject, as my mind isn't geared in that direction. Thinking back, he gave us many hints what would be on the test. But I didn't take it to heart and ended up studying everything and couldn't remember it all well. As it turned out, the test was on exactly what he told us, What a fool I was, to study so many chapters when it really came down to just a few areas with the same questions that he said, I struggled with the test because I 'scattered' my mental acumen. Had I stayed focused I might have done far better. We need to stay focused. We need to "stay on track." We need to ask the 'Master Teacher" what matters? How do I grow in this 'treasure in heaven?' Ask Jesus, because in the end, its all that matters. "They are happy who do his will, seeking him with all their hearts" (Psalm 119)
Prayer: Lord Jesus teach me to pray, for to pray is to love you, and I want to love you. Amen