Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
At the end of the day, the vast majority of us want to feel secure. We want to know that tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, our needs can and will be met. We feel at peace when we know that our relationships are stable, our health is good, and our wallets are full. We tell ourselves that once we have taken care to secure all these good things, we will be able to relax and enjoy life.
But the Gospel reading today has Jesus reminding us that if we spend all our time preparing for the future, and securing our place in that future, we just may wake up to discover that there is no future left to live and that we have indeed squandered the past of our lives.
Each and every moment, God is present to us, sustaining us. Each and every day, God invites us to likewise be present to one another, in the here and now. While planning for the future has its place, we are still called to live in, and to recognize, the grace of the present moment. We are called to trust that no matter what may befall us tomorrow, God will be there, present to us.
There is no doubt that some of our tomorrows will challenge us. At times we will be visited by hardship. But in truth, we are better prepared to handle those moments if we ground ourselves in the countless moments of grace that we allow ourselves to experience each and every day.
The Gospel story challenges me to make different choices today. Can I accept the challenge? Maybe, for today, I will choose to do one less load of laundry and spend that time playing Candy Land with my son. Maybe today I will put away the report that is due in a week and open my office door to someone walking by. Maybe today, I will put away the broom and visit a sick relative. Maybe today I can start to cultivate in myself, the discipline of being present to each and every graced moment that fills my day.
—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA
Lord, as we move through our day, remove our blinders that cause us to overlook so many blessings in our lives. We do not want to take for granted the beauty of the earth, the pets that love us unconditionally, the loyalty of family and friends, sustaining work, or the material goods that surround us.
We also do not want to forget those who have asked us to pray for them. We ask that you restore them to health, provide financial assistance, give them the strength needed to face an uphill climb, provide meaningful work, and protect and guide the children of so many. Lord, with a heart of gratitude we embrace this day.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!