SOUL FOOD FOR HUNGRY ADULT COMMUNITIES: August 4th 2013: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C.
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21. Reading 1: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23. Reading 2: Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11. Click here for Mass Readings, or find them in your own missal or Bible. A few lines that give us a flavour of this week’s Word of God for us.
‘For so it is that a man who has laboured wisely, skilfully and successfully must leave what is his own to someone ho has not toiled for it at all….What does he gain for all the toil and strain that he has undergone?…What of all his laborious days, his cares of office, his restless nights?’ (First Reading)
‘Make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart.’ (Ps.89)
‘You have been brought back to true life with Christ….Now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. (Christ) is your life.’ (2nd Reading)
‘Watch and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’ (Gospel)
‘This hoard of yours, whose will it be then?’ (Gospel)
Am I a fool? Or, as we say in Ireland, ‘Am I an eejit?’,- it’s our way of saying ‘idiot’. We have an Irish word also, which is perhaps a bit gentler, for someone who has lost the plot in some way: ‘Am I an amadán?’ (pronounded Oma-Dawn), – implying that someone is a bit foolish (usually, an understatement!).
Jesus said in Matthew 5:22 that you should not call anyone a fool’ ‘Anyone who calls a brother ‘Fool’ will answer for it…’ And the Aramaic word he used is ‘raqa’ which means ‘empty-head’ or ‘nit-wit’. Yet, in Luke’s Gospel today, God himself calls the Rich Farmer a ‘Fool’. Must have been some nit-wit! But why?
We are here given a parable,- a story with a sting in the tail, a story with no answers given, but leaving us with a big question. Why was the parable told? To whom was Jesus talking? A man came seeking Jesus’ help in a family row with his brother,- looking for his share of the inheritance. Jesus wasn’t going to get involved in a family dispute. The questioner had his heart set on getting some large inheritance,- ‘his heart, set’,- and that was the issue Jesus addressed. The man’s ‘heart was set’ on things, only. So Jesus told him a story (parable),- made up- and left the man (and us) with a question.
Read it for yourselves (Luke 12:13-21). It’s about the Rich Fool!
Am I an Eejit? Maybe so. Certainly if I store up treasure for myself only until I begin to say ‘My soul, you have plenty of good things laid up for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time’. And then God will say ‘You fool!’. You’re missing the point! You’ve lost the plot! Your heart is gone astray. And with all the stuff you pile up, you will still be as empty as a bag of wind.
‘You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts will not find rest until they rest in you.’ (Augustine, who had gone down all the byroads of life, before he allowed God to captivate his heart.).
If you want a good reflection on this, and have a little time to sit and read, find the poem/reflection by Francis Thompson ‘The Hound of Heaven’. It’s about all the ways a person can run from God, but our God will never give up chasing us, like ‘a hound of heaven’, with love. Click here below for the Text of it http://www.ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/HNDHVN.HTM, or click here to hear it read by Richard Burton, the Welsh actor, on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gToj6SLWz8Q
Wouldn’t it be a real pity to live life to the end and then meet our Maker and He to look sadly into our hearts and tells us that we were Amadáns?
‘This hoard of yours, whose shall it be? So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’ (and that goes for women, too!).
Food for thought.
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.