Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23
Col 3:1-5, 9-11
Wealth and Detachment
In Sunday’s gospel Jesus is teaching his disciple with a crowd around him.
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?
” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he tells them a parable. The point of the parable is about our call to focus on the Kingdom of God, to desire the treasure of heaven, and to embrace God as the center of our lives.
God, loves us, each of us. God gives us life and calls us to be in relationship. All the things in this world are gifts of God given out of God’s great love. We owe God our full appreciation for all we have been given. When we take God’s gifts for granted and they, rather than God, become the center of our lives we have failed in our relationship with God for which we are created.
The following words are from a saying on our Ursuline community message board: “Detachment does not mean you should own nothing. It means that nothing should own you.” This is clear in the message from the parable. Because of all the good things the rich man has stored away for himself he plans to rest, eat, drink, be merry. God’s answer is quick and clear. “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.”
In contrast to the foolish rich man is a couple who were honored with the Ursuline Sisters’ Merici Award for all the good they did for many not for profit organizations in the Greater Cleveland area. Their son, when accepting the award, said they were raised with a life lesson that directed his parents, him and his siblings. “If you are blessed with good fortune, don’t spend it on living, spend it on giving.’ What a wonderful message to live by.
It doesn’t make any difference if you are wealthy or struggling to get by – all have the responsibility to appreciate what they have and be willing to help others with what they have. We don’t want God to call us fools!
What is your most important possession? How would it help you if you died tonight?
How can you grow in awareness of the needs of others and your responsibility to help?