18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
To be wise is not just about having the experience and knowledge but to have the right judgment in life. The rich man in the parable this Sunday might be very practical hence can be called wise in the eyes of the world but in the eyes of God, he was a fool.
One of the deepest longings of each one of us is the desire for security. It is one of the forces of a purpose-driven life. It is about our future! Jesus having assumed human nature fully understands this yearning but He wanted to put it in the right perspective through the Parable of the Rich Fool.
The parable is not just a warning to the materially rich because the man in the parable could be anyone of us. Just like any ordinary worker who wanted to secure his future through honest work, the man must have worked so hard and thought he deserved to enjoy the fruit of his labor. There was nothing wrong about it most especially if he did not cheat nor defraud anyone. What had gone wrong was his motivation wherein need became greed.
The man thought only of himself. As if his huge success depended only on his efforts, there was no acknowledgment of God. The first thought that comes into our mind is that the man was a practical atheist. But this is not just about atheism because there are those who are religious but think the pinnacle of their success depends on themselves. This forgetfulness of God leads to selfishness as if one’s security relies on the self and everything revolves around it. Because of this self-aggrandizement, the ego becomes almost an insatiable monster that devours anything to fill up the void of greed. When somebody withdraws to his own secured shell, one becomes oblivious of the presence of other people who are in need; he also becomes suspicious that others are a threat to his security. When this happens, a person may be too much secured and yet feels lonely and terribly unhappy. There are also those who believe that as long as they don’t harm anybody, they can enjoy their wealth which they deserve; after all they worked hard for it. Never mind if others are in need; never mind if this is greed!
Again this is not only about material possessions. A person may be materially poor and still forgetful of God as if he could improve his lot by totally depending on his own efforts.
So who is truly wise before God? He is somebody who knows that everything comes from God and sees everything as a blessing. And because everything is a blessing, it is meant for sharing. He also makes the right judgment that he is not the one who is in charge of his life no matter how rich or poor he is. A wise man believes that God is his only security. He also acknowledges that he is utterly poor before God who owns everything and disposes everything to those whose lives totally depend on Him.
Let us pray:
“Un-self me, O Lord and fill up my nothingness with Your Indwelling.
Spare me from the folly of believing in my self alone.
Strip me of my self-created securities so that in my utter
nakedness You may clothe me with Your glory.
Help me understand that in life and in death, I am for
others and I am totally yours.