You Fool…

Reflection for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Director of Advocacy, Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our July 29th newsletter

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.” As I begin this reflection, I ask myself this question over and over again: What is God’s message that I need to be open to hear to-day? If you wish, do the same, ask yourself the same question before you continue reading.

For me, God’s voice could not be louder and clearer in this 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time readings: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Lk. 12:14

We (the human race) have sold ourselves a big lie. We have convinced ourselves that being successful, thus happy, is linked to what we possess in money, material things and intellectual capacity: the bigger, the more, the better. The rich man of the gospel certainly represents this belief. In fact, instead of sharing what he had unexpectedly acquired in abundance, he does not hesitate to build larger barns for his exceptional harvest and say to himself: “You have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” Then God says to him:

“YOU FOOL, this night your life will be demanded of you,”
you will not be able to carry your barns with you!

What is it with us humans that in spite experiences of life to the contrary we continue to believe that “bigger barns” are the proof of having made it in life, of being blessed by God’s goodness? We continue to believe what has been disproven by common sense or even by science.

We seem not to hear, or at least not believe, the New Testament warnings against greed and the constant invitation to love simplicity of life, in order to grow in Christ. The letter to the Colossians invites us to: “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and the greed that is idolatry… even further: “Stop lying to one another.” Indeed, we are all caught in a big lie.

We as a country, and the world as well, are living a moment of history of deep confusion, when human values placed in our hearts by the Almighty are abandoned and substituted with the almighty dollar; when the world is more then ever divided by the have and have-nots, by the place where we come from and by the color of our skin. In the midst of this, today I hear God’s voice suggesting to us: you fool, is that going to matter when life is going to be demanded of you? How much can you take with you? It is not what you had that will be remembered of you, but what you were able to share of possessions, your welcome to others, your effort to create a more compassionate and livable world for future generations. And so…

If I want to be honest with myself and listen to God’s voice, I cannot miss this clear teaching:
“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all in all.”

May we heed God’s Word.

Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF
FAN Director of Advocacy

Published in: on July 30, 2019 at 10:37 am  Leave a Comment  

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