MONDAY OF THE TWENTY-NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Responsorial - Luke 1:69-75
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
At first glance it may seem like an outrageous injustice to be denied a rightful inheritance. But Jesus’ words are clear. We must be on guard against any kind of greed that can confuse us into believing that our life consists in our possessions. We may believe that we are detached from material things until we are tested and the opportunity to surrender a debt or an inheritance gives us freedom and a kind of proof to ourselves that we are not enslaved by mammon.
In the parable of the rich man, when an abundant crop came in, the man asked himself what he should do. He was only interested in collecting the profits for himself. He could have thought about how he could use his gain to benefit the common good. Instead he occupied himself with plans to build bigger barns and storehouses to rest and enjoy his life.
Our souls, our lives, and our wealth are given to us to steward as God provides. The way we view our lives and our possessions must be through the lens of faith. We can afford to surrender the things that God calls us to give to His work because God will continue to provide and bless. Others may have more than we do, but more things are not a proof of an abundant life. The treasure in heaven is the only treasure that has lasting worth.
Today, we can take inventory of our works of faith, our tithes or alms and ask the Lord where He might be pleased with us to give to His work.