Remembering that we are not eternal should not frighten us, but make us aware that what matters is never things, but relationships.
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” How many families end up splitting apart over matters of possessions! How much resentment, hatred, distance, and suffering that attachment to material things produces. People come to consider money more valuable than blood ties. It’s no coincidence that the lust for possessions, and money above all, is one of the tools most used by evil to hold us captive.
Jesus tells a parable in today’s gospel to warn us against such a temptation. The main character is a man, probably an honest man who works every day, on whom life smiles giving him an abundance of harvest. So far, there’s nothing unusual.
But Jesus puts into the mouth of this honest man a line of reasoning that on the surface seems to be harmless, but at bottom hides a trap:
“He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?”
The opposite of hoarding is not squandering, but sharing. Those who are overly attached to things and ignore the needs of those around them will end up with full warehouses and empty lives. Remembering that we are not eternal should not frighten us, but make us aware that what matters is never things, but relationships.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.