July 31, 2016
In to the gospel today we find the story of a rich man who has recently harvested a huge amount of crops from his field. Imagine the days, weeks, and even months of hard work that this man had to do just so he could produce the amount of harvest he reaped. That meant he had to endure the scorching heat of the sun while he prepared the soil on which he would plant. That meant he had to be diligent in watering the plants, most likely every single day. It was not an easy task, but the hard work paid off when harvest time came. The only problem in this story is that after he gathered his crops, he kept it all for himself. As the story concludes, the Lord took away his life and all his harvest from him.
To plant fear in us was not the point of today's gospel. Instead, it serves as a reminder to us that all our accomplishments and material things that we have in our lives are all blessing from God. Most of the time, we work hard to achieve our goals and make our dreams come true; and when they are fulfilled and all is accomplished, there is still that empty feeling inside us. We think that in order to fill that void in us, we should achieve even greater heights and aim higher than where we are now. Like the rich farmer, we are tempted to think that having large amounts of money and possessions stored up will make us secure. A few Sundays ago Bishop Ariel again reminded us that we have been blessed to be a blessing, because there is always joy in giving. We are blessed to be a blessing in the lives of others, and we are blessed to participate in the kingdom of God. The Bible says if our riches increase, we are not to set our hearts upon them (Psalm 62:10). Paul also reminds us in 2 Corinthians 9 that "God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” We are blessed by God, so we can in turn “abound in every good work” and be a blessing in the lives of others.
I end with a phrase from the prayer of St. Francis as a reminder of what our goal in life should be.
"For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."