July 31, 2010


18th Sunday - C
Luke 12:13-21

What's on my mind?

In order to understand the passage of Luke 12:13-21, it may be helpful to go back a few verses of Chapter 12. In 12:1, Luke reports that thousands of people have gathered around Jesus. [1] Another English translation reads "so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot."

In the course of his teaching to the disciples with that large crowd around, Jesus tells them to trust in God's providential care for them. He says, "Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows." (verses 6-7)

Keeping in mind that background of the crowd being drawn to the power of Jesus' teaching, and the words he has just spoken to them, one wonders, "How could the man have the nerve to come in front of everybody and ask Jesus to tell his brother to share the inheritance with him?"

Is it because he has been standing too far away from Jesus, and the physical distance prevents him from hearing Jesus' words?

Or is it the distance in his heart and on his mind?

From Jesus' response, it seems quite obvious that the man has not heard a word that Jesus speaks. His preoccupation with the inheritance has blocked his ears, his mind and his heart from hearing Jesus.

And just imagine what it must be like in his family with such dispute over wealth and inheritance.

And so, just like the man in the parable that follows in verses 16-22, he fails to pay attention to the most important thing, namely life itself.

Is there anything that keeps me from living my life as God's precious and gratuitous gift?

Is there anything on my mind that prevents me from listening to God's words of eternal life?

[1] Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke. Sacra Pagina Series, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991, p.198.

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