1 On a sabbath he went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. … 7 He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, 9 and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. 10 Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12 Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. 13 Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; 14 blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:1,7-14) Continue reading
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 14 He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 15 Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 17 He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ 18 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 19 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!” 20 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?’ 21 Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Luke 12:13-21) Continue reading
I am away from the parish doing an appeal for Franciscan Mission Service. I thought it good to leave you with some words from another time reflecting on our Sunday readings.
Inheritance and riches being stored up – certainly two strong images from this Sunday’s gospel. Themes not uncommon in the gospels. St. Luke also tells the story of the man who comes to Jesus and asks, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” After learning from the man that he had followed all the commandments Jesus tells him, “There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. (Luke 18) It is a recurring message from Jesus that wealth, riches – in themselves not bad – just have a way of getting in the way of the true inheritance. The man goes away sad – he just can’t let go of his wealth, can’t let go of the one thing that keeps him from following Jesus. He is likely a good person – both in his own mind and in the thoughts of others – yet there is a hidden, unseen greed operative in his life. A covert greed that has become, as St. Paul says, an idolatry keeping him away from true and right worship. Continue reading
The dispute and the parable appears only in Luke among the gospels, situated within the ongoing travel narrative as Jesus and the disciples move ever forward towards Jerusalem.
Although the inheritance in question (v.13) is not specifically mentioned as land, given the parable’s setting (v.16) one might safely assume land was the issue. Perhaps a word or two on land and inheritance. For the OT laws of inheritance, see Num. 27:1–11; 36:7–9; Deut. 21:16–17 – shown at the end of this document. Continue reading
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our gospel follows after the Parable of the Rich Fool (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:13-21). Unfortunately, the passage in between (vv.22-34) is not used for a Sunday gospel – yet it carries an important context for our passage and serves as a bridge between the lesson of the rich fool and our text which seems to speak of the second coming of the Son of Man and the judgment that awaits. Continue reading