18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 31, 2022
Theme: Storing True Incorruptible Riches
First Reading: Ecclesiastes 2:18-23
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 49:1-12
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-11
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:13-21
Homily by Fr. Romie- Jun Peñalosa
There are really things that we need to understand and learn in life. And today, Father Jun teaches us one of the most powerful lessons that we need to understand.
Our gospel reading today clearly teaches us that Jesus is not condemning wealth. He is not even against desiring more wealth. The story of a man asking Jesus to divide their family inheritance is a story we could relate to. Family feuds over inheritance, over material wealth have been existing even before the time of Jesus. Jesus sensed greediness as the core of this problem, therefore He refused to be a judge or arbitrator in this situation. Instead, he saw the situation as an opportunity to teach and address the real issue of greed. The parable of the rich man teaches us to value the things of heaven which are “incorruptible”. We are a people caught up in greed and oftentimes this causes us to desire more and forget God as the true source of richness.
“Be on your guard against all forms of greed. Life is not about the abundance of possessions.” and “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Two powerful verses taken from the parable that Jesus emphasize to address the common issue we all can relate to – greediness. Greed is the excessive desire to have more and more and more…of material possessions. It has many forms – it could be covetousness, lusts and avarices. “Be on guard”! Jesus is giving us a warning against these, because if we will not be watchful, these might enter our hearts and will take control of our life. His warning is about unbalance and wrong focus of life. He is never against us desiring to become rich, but if our desire of wealth will lead us to move away from the essential things of life, our family and Him – then it’s where the problem starts.
Lesson from the parable:
- Do not think that things, wealth, or possessions can bring meaning to life. The rich man in the parable was too focused on himself. He didn’t even think of family, or of God – just things he could acquire more, for he thought that those could give him security in life. He thought that material things could give meaning to life. But he failed to realize that the lust for anything including possessions, soon become impossible to control and become harder to find satisfaction in.
- Do not assume you know your future. Do not invest everything in your life on a future that you cannot control. Understand that you must be ready to live life every day as if it’s your last day. Be prepared, because death is certain for all of us.
- Don’t just invest materially; invest spiritually. One foolishness of the rich man in the parable is that he devoted himself to work for prosperity and devoted nothing to the One who gave him everything, including his life. There is no wasted time devoted to God. He is never against us desiring to become rich in wealth, but let us never forget to desire more to become rich in Him.
Only God can satisfy us. Do not ever think that life will flow from the abundance of your possession. King David knows this exactly as he wrote Psalm 23. Money and possessions alone cannot give us that happiness in our entire life. They can ease and make life simpler, but they cannot satisfy the longing of our hearts. Live each day as if it is “our day”; seize the moment for there is no promise of another day once our “last” day ends!
MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU
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