August 2, 2013

18th Sunday - C


Our Origin and Destiny

In the parable that Jesus teaches us today, the man neglects to acknowledge the giver of all his “bountiful harvest,” his “grain and other goods.”  In the words that he speaks to himself, there is no mention of God or his gratitude.  

More deeply, he forgets his origin and the source of his life. 

Consequently, he forgets the destiny of his own life. 

Obviously, the parable serves as a warning for the man who has brought the family dispute to Jesus.  

In fact, in his case, the background of Luke 12:1 tells us that he is there among “so many people [who] were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot.”  The people flock to listen to Jesus.  [1]

The man, on the contrary, is there, but he has not heard the words Jesus has spoken earlier.  Jesus had told the crowd, “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.” (12: 6-7)

Both the man in the parable and the man who brought the complaint to Jesus allow their worries about possessions distract them from the most essential aspect of life:  God, who is our origin and our destiny. 

In this way, both men, the one in the parable and the one who complains, should make it clear to us the warning that Jesus gives to the crowd “to guard against all greed” and to know that “one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 

It is so real and so easy for all of us to fall into the trap of possessions and forget God. 


[1] Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke; Sacra Pagina Series.  Collegeville, MN; Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 201.

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