“You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?”

The encounter of Jesus and a man who feels cheated out of an inheritance leads to today’s lesson (Lk 12:13-21).  When this man shouts from the throng asking Jesus to advocate for him in a dispute with his brother, Jesus avers and then warns about the danger of greed.  This leads to a parable about the rich man who plans on building larger storage for his plentiful harvest, thinking that he will have years to relax, indulge, and enjoy it.  Yet that man was to die that very night (see above).  Jesus closes saying that man will have nothing in the end who is not “rich in what matters to God” (v. 21).  The common expressions “You can’t take it with you” and “Live every day as if it were your last” immediately come to mind with this story.  Our focus must stay fixed on the most important thing: Eternal life with God in heaven.  The Lord gives us much to enjoy on this earth, but never must anything, no matter how objectively good it is, come between us and Him.  The man in the story became self-satisfied thinking only of his bounty and how it will allow him self-indulgence, never reflecting for a moment that he might not be around to enjoy his gain.  We store up treasure in heaven by being responsible about our needs and the needs of those who depend on us, but always focusing first on God and others.  If we love God with our entire being and treat others as we wish to be treated (Mt 22:36-40), we are thinking with the mind of God and have the hope of being welcomed into our Master’s joy (Mt 25:21, 23).

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