Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
We live in a world of limited resources and unlimited desires. The more culture has permeated invariably all the spheres of human existence. We live in a world where money is not enough, luxuries are not enough, leisure is not enough, food is not enough and we crave for more. Even in the realm of spirituality too we look for this more culture. Faithful and priests look for more – biggest church, biggest façade, biggest lamp, biggest festival and the like. Today in the Gospel Jesus lashes out at this tendency for greed through the parable of the rich fool. Money is not evil but when it takes possession of us it becomes evil for it blinds our eyes to the realities of the sufferings of others. This is what happened to the rich fool. Obviously Palestine, during the time of Jesus was not a prosperous country where all had plenty to eat and drink. But the rich man didn’t think of sharing his property with others. The number of times the pronoun ‘I’ that is mentioned in this small passage clearly reveals how small this rich man’s world was. A person overcome by greed would see only himself. In the Book of Kings we have the example of Gehazi who was Elisha’s servant. Though Elisha had not commissioned him, he went behind Naaman, the Syrian whom Elisha had healed and obtained two talents of silver and two changes of garments. He becomes a typical example of the modern man who looks for any opportunity to satisfy oneself with more. In the Acts of the Apostles we read of Simon, the magician who was even ready to pay money to obtain the magical power of Peter and the other apostles so that he could get more popularity. The challenging invitation that Jesus gives us today is to avoid greed and the frantic desire for more in all the aspects of our life. Can we be content with what God has given us and use rightful means to improve upon it? Are we able to share what we have, material and spiritual, with others? If we can, then we have assimilated the spirit of Jesus.