We have all asked that proverbial question: Who am I? The answer can be telling. Do we describe ourselves by our profession (doctor, lawyer, banker, professor, etc.)? Perhaps we describe ourselves by our possessions, or lack thereof (rich, poor, educated, uneducated, etc.). Or, might we describe ourselves as a child of God, a loving spouse and parent, etc.? The answer you give to this question, and the basis upon which you draw your answer, shines a light on what you value. In today’s Gospel from Luke 12:13-21, Jesus wants to impart upon those listening that it is not the sum of your possessions that matter, but whether you value what matters to God.
The Sum of Your Possessions Do Not Define You
To articulate His point, Jesus asks a couple of startling questions, that should give us all food for thought:
- “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” (Luke 12:14) – This is in response to a man asking Jesus to require his brother to share his brother’s inheritance with the man. Greed is not a value that matters to God. So, Jesus used this opportunity to tell the people the parable of the rich fool.
Jesus tells us the story of a man who reaped a huge harvest, so large that he didn’t have enough space to store the goods. So, the man decided to tear down his existing barns to build bigger ones that could hold the bounty. Then he planned to eat, drink and be merry. Little did the man know that his life would end that very night. He was a rich fool.
Jesus then drives the message home with His second question:
- “You fool, this very night your life will be demanded of you, and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong” (Luke 12:20)?
When we pass from this world to the next, it won’t matter at all what noble profession we pursued during our earthly life. In addition, Jesus won’t care whether we were rich, with many possessions, or poor with few possessions. What will matter is how well we loved. How well did we follow God’s Commandments? What did we do for the least among us?
What Do You Value Most?
So, as you go throughout your day today, give thought to the fact that it might be your last day. Think about who you really are, and what you value most. I pray that your answer is in alignment to what matters most to God.
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