The Rich Fool Judged

Sunday 18 in Year C

First Reading ‡ Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
What do people gain by all their work?

Responsorial ‡ Psalm 89:3-6.12-14.17
In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Second Reading ‡ Colossians 3:1-5.9-11
Seek the things that are above where Christ is.

Gospel ‡ Luke 12:13-21
To whom will all this wealth of yours go?

One of the quirks of Catholic history is an over-emphasis on sexual sin. Most people seem to think that, besides murder, the worst possible sin to commit has something to do with sex. Yet, when you prayerfully read through the teachings of Jesus, that doesn’t hold up. In the forty parables that Jesus told, there are only two stories that Jesus indicates a negative judgement being made against a character – the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, and today’s parable of the rich fool. Even in the last judgement scene in Matthew 25, the sins are much more about social justice – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless. Jesus is very clear – the main thing that he is concerned about it care for the poor and the vulnerable.

And the parable today speaks directly into the situation that is being faced by millions of people around the world who face shortages in food supply after the failures of many crops (here due to flooding, and in the north, in Europe and USA, crops have failed because of drought) which has caused an additional 100 million people into abject poverty (UN estimates in July 2022). The situation has only been made worse by the ongoing war in the Ukraine. Who and what do we trust?

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