Storing up treasure

What do we need to be happy? The man who approaches Jesus in today’s Gospel thinks he knows the answer. He needs his share of the family estate, and his brother is refusing to hand it over.

Jesus doesn’t enter into this family dispute. Instead, he takes the opportunity to teach his disciples that life is not made secure by money or possessions. However much we have, it will never be enough. Jesus tells the people a parable about a rich farmer who stores up his wealth and believes that he is secure for years to come. But he can never know when God will bring his life to an end, and he cannot take his wealth with him when he dies. The rich man is a fool, Jesus tells us; he is completely turned in on himself, cut off from the love of God and the love of others. Instead of storing up his possessions, he should be ‘making himself rich in the sight of God’ by sharing what he has and loving his neighbour.

We are always tempted to want more, and to think that this will make us secure. But everything that we have in this world – money, possessions, power or fame – will pass away. Only the love of God will remain. That is our true wealth.

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