Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. And he told them this this parable: “The ground of a certain rich many yielded an abundant harvest.” – Luke 12: 15-16
I love a good story – and truth be told, the old stories are filled with thoughts that linger with you through the years. Stories that can either make you cry, laugh, or present an imaginary screen before you as to what is taking place. During COVID-19, the art of storytelling came alive as people went back into the archives of their lives to fill the gap for the lapse of time.
Growing up, it was the norm for parents, particularly mothers to tell bedtime stories to their children. Some were from fairy tales, but mostly Bible stories, but they all filled your head with the shape of things to come in your childhood innocence.
I remember my late father in one of his sermons reminding the congregation that you could not beat Jesus preaching, referring to the parables that he told – stories with earthly illustrations but heavenly meaning. Today, we look at one of those stories, the story of the rich fool.
Jesus was the master storyteller, mainly because he confounded those who did not believe him and enlightened those who received him.
At the beginning of this 12th chapter of Luke, Jesus is warning the multitude to be careful of the “leaven of the Pharisees” which is gross hypocrisy, because there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall be known. Further, whatsoever is spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that what you have whispered into ears in closets shall be proclaimed upon the roof.
Further warning was to fear him. “Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell.” (Luke 4)
Someone in the crowd asked Jesus to speak to his brother so that he will divide the inheritance of their parents with him. Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “you have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
Jesus concluded, “This is how it is with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
What a powerful story that is retold and carried out time and again in the lives of those who want to grab everything for themselves without a thought for the poor and needy. I am always happy when I hear of, or see instances when people of means and great wealth, without fanfare give to others. One of the best feelings one can experience is to give cheerfully to the less fortunate and the building up of God’s kingdom on earth.
Today, I salute all those who in whatever way, form or fashion have considered the poor. Want to experience happiness in this life? Give willingly to the poor.