Luke’s Gospel is not kind to the rich. From the first chapter’s warning in Mary’s canticle, the rich and mighty should expect fortunes turned upside-down in God’s reign. However, Jesus does not condemn the rich merely for having wealth; look at Zacchaeus whose home Jesus blesses. Having possessions is not a sin, but neither is it the extent of one’s life.
The burden the rich carry is not their treasure but their self-sufficiency, the mistake of thinking their only need and concern is for themselves. That is the rich man’s foolishness in today’s passage and throughout Luke’s Gospel. He acknowledges, consults, and praises no one but himself. His treasury is for his enjoyment alone. Overnight, his wealth, where his heart lies, will be gone with his life.Material wealth and self-seeking righteousness are easy to accumulate, but they hold no currency for God. Click To Tweet
These past few Sundays, Jesus has focused on how one inherits eternal life—by loving God and our neighbor as ourselves; opening our lives to the stranger; and entering into relationship with the Father through his Son. We cannot store up good deeds for ourselves as if they were grain in our barns ensuring heavenly comfort.
Material wealth and self-seeking righteousness are easy to accumulate, but they hold no currency for God. However, using what we have in daily acts of self-giving love for the sake of the other is a life rich in what matters to God.