Summary: As Christians we should have a shift in values and we should place more value on our relationship with God then on created things.
Luke 12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
In today’s gospel Jesus is teaching about God’s generosity and grace, and then a young man comes up and ask Jesus to settle a dispute over his deceased father’s property. The young man was not listening to Jesus but instead following his own agenda. Jesus tells the young man he is focused on the wrong things and not on God. Jesus tells him to beware of greed! Saint Paul in Colossians 3:1-11 gives us rules for Holy living and says that greed is actually idolatry or worshipping things in place of God the Creator of all things. Paul and Jesus tell us as Christians we should have a shift in values. We should place more value on our relationship with God then on created things. Amen?
People have wondered why carrier pigeons were always able to navigate their way all over town and always find their way home. After much research scientists discovered that the pigeons were actually following the man-made roads like a map in order to get home. They would fly directly over the street and make turns on the appropriate turns just like we do when we are driving our cars. Rather then just flying from point “A” to point “B” in a straight line they followed the curves in the road even though it took longer and was more dangerous. Brothers and sisters, don’t we do the same thing…we follow man-made paths instead of following the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ? Amen? We need to refocus and shift our values. We do this by reading the Bible, attending Bible Study, prayer, and worshipping at Mass on Sundays. Brothers and sisters, where are our values at? Are they in Christ or are we simply living like a flock of pigeons?
Jesus continues by sharing the parable of a rich man who needed to build more barns in order to hold all of his possessions. When he does he feels secure and feels that now his soul can rest. Unexpectedly he dies that night and all of his belongings will go to others. We see why God calls him a fool? He based his security for his soul on bigger barns filled with his possessions. The man’s problem was he was not looking beyond this life.
And aren’t we the same? In the past few years we have had a slow down in our economy although we are currently in an economic recovery. But even during the economic slow down one business continued to expand… the business of storage unit rentals. We have so much stuff we can not even store it in our homes. We need to rent barns to store it all, but we continue to buy more!
There was a young ambitious man talking to his grandfather about his future plans. The young man said,” I will learn my trade.” The grandfather asked, “And then?” The young man said,” I will set up a business.” The grandfather asked, “And then?” The boy said,” And then I will make my fortune.” The grandfather repeated,”And then?” The boy said, I suppose I will retire and live on all my money.” The old man asked,”And then?” The boy said hesitantly,” I suppose some day I will die.” The grandfather looked the young man straight in the eye and asked, “AND THEN?” The boy was silent. Brothers and sisters aren’t we like this young man. We make great plans for this life and ruin our health working to attain them. But we do not look beyond this life to our everlasting destination. I believe if we did, then absolutely every church in the world would be filled to overflowing on Sundays. Do we ever take time to reflect on where we will spend eternity? Do we live in a daily life giving relationship with Jesus Christ? It is only in Jesus that we can truly rest secure. Amen? There is not another name given in heaven or earth by which we can be saved. Amen? Jesus Christ is our ONLY security in this life and the life to come. Amen?
The rich man in the story was rich financially, but spiritually he was bankrupt. How about us? Where is our treasure? Are we rich toward God? Spiritual wealth is not measured in dollars. Amen?
There was a very large family that lived out in the country. They were always having financial problems. There was never enough money for food or clothes. They lived in an old beat up shack that they rented. Fortunately they had recently shot and killed a bear that had wandered onto their property. They had processed the bear meat and put it in canning jars so they would have food for the winter. One day the pastor visited and brought communion to the grandmother who was sick. As the pastor was leaving the man of the house gave him a jar of bear meat. The pastor said he couldn’t take it because the family needed it. The man said,”Pastor now you just have to take this. We want you to have it. We do not have much. This is a fact…but we are not poor.” The pastor asked, “What is the difference?” The man said,”When you give something away, even when you do not have much, then you are not poor. When you do not feel good giving something away, even if you have more then you need, then you are poor whether you know it or not.” Brothers and sisters are we poor? Are we poor towards God? Or are we like the man in this story?