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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Where is Security?

“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’” (Luke 12:16-21).
The rich man in Jesus’ parable believed that his overabundant crops would buy his future security. In the end they provided nothing. His security was misplaced.
Material possessions do not offer security. Our security rests in God alone. We are to spend our lives promoting the reign of God on earth as we await the reign of God. Life is our greatest gift. The challenge of the Gospel is to put our energy and trust in things that do not perish and to place our security in God, the Lavish Giver of All Gifts.
Christians are invited to let go of their attachment to material possessions. The disciples were not only invited to let go of the fear of the future and to divest themselves of their attachments but also to turn their lives over completely to the Master of their destiny. Only then would they know true freedom as God’s children. The amassing of wealth for a future day is not a response of faith, according to Luke.
A response in faith to the living God who provides and cares for his people is to lay down our lives for one another and to be generous to those in need. Spiritual freedom allows Christians to share what they have, especially with those who hold a special place of honor in Jesus’ heart—the poor, oppressed, and marginalized.
– How does the story of the rich man speak to your life or experience?
Adapted from PrayerTime: Faith-Sharing Reflections on the Sunday Gospels, available at the RENEW International store.
Image: The Rich Man and His Barns—Davis Collection.

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