SOUL FOOD for Young Adult Communities: August 4 2013, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year of St Luke. ( A ‘community’ can be two or more- for Jesus said: ‘where two or more of you gather in my name, there I am in the midst of you!’)
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21. The Parable of the Rich Fool.
Letter to Sinead, Mark and Friends,- young adults in search of faith and understanding. (This week’s Letter is written by Sarah Kelly, who is in her 20′s. Thanks, Sarah!)
How does today’s Gospel speak to you? I ask myself this very question every time I read or hear a piece of Scripture. At first glance I surmised that it is a beautiful piece of Scripture, but it has no effect on me, no relevance to my life. But, that was at first glance. And then I thought, was that not what the man with all the grain saved in his magnificent barns thought, that at first glance, he had “plenty of good things laid by for many years to come”.
At first glance, we may think we really have it all. Instead of it being grain stored in our barns, -or should I say, our hearts?- it could be greed, selfishness, anger, hatred, violence, corruption, power or indeed money, alcohol, iPhones, iPods, iPads, tvs, dvds, blu-ray, cars, false nails, false eyelashes, fake tan, facebook, twitter, clothes, shoes, perfumes, aftershaves, make-up, the list is endless. Now, in moderation, some of the above mentioned are alright, but to allow a THING to drive you, to possess your very being is not right. Now, I’m not speaking to you from some ivory tower, nor will I pretend that I am innocent of the above, but because I am human, I know all these temptations too well. These are the grains which we store in our own esoteric barns, and we assume that just because we have all these fascinating and wonderful gadgets and gizmos, we convince ourselves that we are truly happy, but we still strive for more! One of my favourite singers, Stacie Orrico, has a wonderful song called “More to Life”. The lines of the chorus really stand out “there’s gotta be more to life, than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me. . . but I’m sure, there’s gotta be more, than wanting more”. Hmmmmm… More, than just wanting more. What do you think? (See below for links).
In a speech recently, Pope Francis strongly advised against the cult of money, stating that “We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old (cf. Ex 32:15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal”. If we read this warning in light of today’s Gospel, and in regards to the above, we realize just how dangerous it is to allow commodities to overcome us. We use these things as a barricade against God’s love, and we shut Him out. But what of all this stuff can we bring to heaven? What of these does God desire? He only desires you. He is our treasure and we are His. We must store Him and his love for us in our hearts. It is when we deny God the place He so rightly deserves, that we make things our gods. What really strikes me about the wealthy man in this Gospel is his lack of gratitude to God. Not once does he make any reference to the One who is richness beyond gold. This man so prided himself on building an empire of things, that he neglected “to make himself rich in the sight of God”. Jesus warns us that a ‘person’s life is not made secure by what they own’.
Thank God for the bed on which you lie, the pillow on which you rest your head, the blankets that keep you cosy, the love that keeps you warm, the roof that keeps you safe. Thank God for the food you eat. These things are important, but they are not vital. Before his execution by the Nazis, Fr. Alfred Delp, a Jesuit priest exclaimed “bread is important, freedom is more important, but most important is unbroken fidelity and worship [of God]”.
So instead of texting, why not put aside a few moments to read a Sacred Text. Store up
God’s Word in your heart.
You can listen to Stacie Orrico, ‘(There’s Gotta be) More to Life’ on