Whose Will They Be?
In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear of a man who seems to be doing pretty well in life. Things are going his way. His land is producing abundantly. He’s got the means to hang on to his goods and either use them now or store them up for future use. And he’s got enough to be able to kick back a little, and “relax, eat, drink, and be merry.” But Jesus calls him a fool.
I mean, come on… this sounds pretty good to me. (Doesn’t this kind of security appeal to all of us?) Sure, God could show up any minute and say to any one of us, “This very night your life is being demanded of you.” But in the meantime, there’s stability, self-sufficiency, and plans for the future. What’s so foolish about that?
Maybe fool isn’t quite the right word here. We often equate that word with stupid, but it’s clear that the man isn’t stupid. In fact, he’s pretty savvy, if you ask me. This is less about being foolish than it is about being self-absorbed. His land has yielded in plenty, but he hasn’t expressed any gratitude to God, or to the people who have helped him plant and harvest his bumper crop. He has enough goods and produce in storage to meet his own needs – far more than he can use, actually – but he shows no inclination to share it with others. And he doesn’t appear to have given any thought to what God might be asking him to do with it all.
It’s easy to keep this at a superficial level, and take this parable as a reminder to share our material wealth with others. But Jesus is all about ‘next level’ thinking. This is about more than being rich. Jesus is telling us to look at our priorities.
How do we invest our God-given gifts and abilities? Do we keep our means to listen, to serve, to evangelize tucked away? Do we store up our treasures of time and talent for our own use? Do our stability, self-sufficiency, and plans for the future involve anybody else? “The things you have prepared, whose will they be?”
Christ reminds us that we don’t live only for ourselves. We are called to a realignment, a life oriented toward God and to others. We are here not to build bigger barns, but rather to prop the barn doors wide open and share the treasures within.
By Darcie Lich
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate