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Thursday, 28 July 2022 10:33

False Security

 A man in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’ ‘My friend,’ he replied ‘who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’

Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say, to my soul: ‘My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.” But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?” So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’ (Luke 12:13-21)

Reflection - False Security

All too often we are made aware of the vulnerability and uncertainty of life. Things can suddenly change. We don’t know what will happen today, tomorrow or even in a few moments’ time. Such experiences can make us profoundly anxious, and we look for ways to protect ourselves and what we own against life’s adverse events. It is not only a problem for wealthy people like the rich man in the Gospel today. It can be a problem for all of us. We seem to have an instinctive need to build a sense of security by amassing goods and wealth.

A strong focus in the Luke’s Gospel is that nothing is more destructive of life and humanity than the need to acquire, hold on to and increase wealth. The problem is not the riches we possess but that our need to possess them gets in the way of our relationship with God, our only true security. That same need also gets in the way of our concern for others. We become reluctant to share what we have in case we may need it one day.

In many ways the Gospel is about the fundamental orientation of a disciple’s life - do we live for ourselves and our possessions, or for God and the Kingdom? Do we own our possessions, or do they own us? What do we value most in life?

Thirsting after material things distorts us, narrows our focus and corrupts our moral sense. As disciples of Jesus, we try to keep God at the centre of our lives. In Baptism and Confirmation we pledge ourselves to be willing workers with God in making God’s dreams and hopes for us all a reality.

A successful life in God’s eyes is not about storing up material treasure for ourselves (the parable of the rich man in this Sunday’s Gospel) but about being a source of real treasure for others (the servant parable in next Sunday’s Gospel). Quite often, the prayers of the Mass ask God to help us to use wisely the good things of the earth.

God’s wisdom always directs us towards using who we are and what we have to enrich the lives of others.

Living according to the heart of God helps us keep all things in their right order and opens us up to God’s wider vision of reality.

Download & read our Celebrating At Home prayers, reading and reflection for this Sunday:

pdf Celebrating At Home 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time [PDF] (2.86 MB)                                   
default Celebrating At Home 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time [ePub] (1.85 MB)


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