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Friday, 29 July 2022 16:43

18th Week in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2022

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestTo borrow a story from a good friend of mine, Fr Bel San Luis, SVD, there was a man who wanted to have a lot of money so badly that he promised the devil to do his work in exchange for a copy of the newspaper a day ahead before it was published so that he could get the winning Lotto number in advance. So every day, he got the newspaper in advance and he went immediately to the winning Lotto numbers. He patiently waited for the jackpot to grow to about $50 million and he said to himself, I think that is enough to live the life that I wanted with that money and after jotting down the winning Lotto numbers, he accidently turned the newspaper to the obituary page and he saw an entry with his name in bold letter and the day of death stated the very day that he would win the Lotto.

The gospel for today is about a person asking Jesus to be an arbiter because of a dispute about inheritance. However, Jesus is not concerned about their squabble. He is more concerned about the spiritual well-being of the complainant.

Parable of the Rich Fool TwitterWith this, Jesus gave his listeners a parable of a rich but foolish man. This man who is already rich and we presume that he has everything that he wanted and more got lucky with the weather and had a bumper crop. However, his problem is that he has run out of space in his barn and he has no space for his new harvest. So he said to himself a solution to his problem, he will tear down his existing barn and build a bigger one and enjoy all the benefits of the harvests through eating, drinking and being merry. But, God said, “You fool, tonight your life would be demanded of you.”

At first glance, we think that the rich man deserves what he has done. Most probably, he would have been rich because of his hard work and definitely deserves what he has worked for. But what the rich man didn’t realise is that all of these things that he has worked for are just for him. He never mentioned about sharing his riches to his family, friends or even giving a small part to the poor and the destitute.

Sadly, we now live in the world where the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. We live in a world where so few people have so much which are above and beyond what they really need and we have so many people who can’t even afford the basic necessities like food, water and shelter. This is happening because less and less people are sharing and more and more people are becoming greedy.

Jesus definitely doesn’t want us to live in misery or abject poverty. He also wants us to live in a reasonably comfortable life. But what Jesus is emphasising is that we live our lives not just for ourselves but also for others. And this is how we can store riches in heaven.

I have heard sad stories about siblings squabbling over the inheritance left by their parents. Each sibling would want to get one over the other. This is what Jesus wanted us to prevent. If we are too obsessed about material things, we become greedy. We wanted to hoard things either through possessions or money. Then when we die, we can’t carry these things to the next life and they would only be the subjects of quarrelling of our children who have become greedy as well.

Let us concentrate on storing riches on the next life where they can’t be destroyed by fire, by moths or by floods. Let us give our lives by sharing what we have with others and helping those who are in need. Because if we live only for ourselves, we will become greedy and obsessed with everything material here on earth and would only become disappointed. But if we concentrate our lives by sharing what we have, then we’ll have riches beyond our imagination and we can enjoy all of them in eternity in heaven.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, the Society of the Divine Word, Australia Province, acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, sky, and community.

We acknowledge their skin-groups, story-lines, traditions, religiosity and living cultures.

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