Today in the Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the rich man and his bountiful harvest. The man tears down his barns to build bigger ones with more space in order to store all his extra harvest for his future. Jesus goes on to tell how that night the man died before he could enjoy all his good things; and then He goes on to say: “Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.” So, we, as Disciples, need to ask ourselves: just what does matter most to God?
In the reading from Ecclesiastes today we hear how nothing of this world remains and that everything else passes away. Do you remember the story of King Midas and how his touch turned everything to gold? We see by that story that it is easy for the “possessor” to become the possessed… So ask yourself: Does God care about your bank balance? Only in so far as how you use it in love to further His Kingdom. Does God care about your position of power? Only in how you treat His other children with love. Does God care about all your treasure? Only in that you share your blessings.
Know this: treasure is not the actual wealth, power and stuff you are blessed to possess—you know what that is: food, clothing, money, position, homes, transportation, a job—no; treasure is talent and ability and the priority for your time spent on earth. Even if you do not have the financial resources to throw your money at charities, (although that is better than nothing), how about lending a helping hand? What about the treasure of your time and talent? Remember: to those who are given much (earthly wealth, beauty, talent, ability, brains, etc.) much (more!) is expected. All the ‘treasure’ you have comes from God, and is a gift from God to be shared, developed and re-gifted for the Kingdom. That we know this, understand this, and live this, is what matters most to God, I believe…
We all share in the Father’s legacy of salvation and creation. Any negligence, or compromise or greed or waste on our part jeopardizes our relationship with Him—as any sin does. Our lives cannot be made secure by stuff. Our life is in heaven and we do not enter heaven with stuff. The attitude of the “wealthy” is one of false security and self-sufficiency. (Vanity of vanities!) There is that old joke about the funeral director who attaches a u-haul to a casket in order for the deceased to take his stuff with him…
Last week we heard about the importance of persistence in prayer; this week it might be wise to apply this persistence to ponder and pray about what really matters to God: love in action for each other. I suspect His plans for us includes us growing rich in God’s sight: changing our selfish value systems, demanding economic justice for all, good stewardship of God’s Creation, sharing God’s grace, mercy, love, tolerance, patience and forgiveness to all we encounter in our every day lives. Because you never know when your life might be demanded of you. Now is the time to reconcile ourselves to God’s purpose, to our mission on earth. To what really matters: this is the wisdom of God!
Just a Note: What also matters to God is that no matter what, you realize that you are loved.