Reflection: Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Tuesday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Qo.1:2, 2:21-23; Ps.89; 2nd Reading – Col.3:1-5, 9-11; Gospel – Lk.12:13-21]


Today’s parable was told by Jesus because a man from the crowd appointed Jesus to be a judge or an arbitrator between him and his brother about their inheritance. At the end of the parable Jesus gives us the moral of the story: one is not to store up treasures for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God. Thus, the whole idea is that if God has provided a person with riches, these should not take place of the “richness” in the sight of God. It is not that one should become literally poor! The good harvest of this rich man was something God gave him and it was part of God’s providence for him – and for the good of others as well.

It seems that the biggest problem with this rich man was not the good harvest or the lack of space to store his crops. It was not the pulling down of the old small barns, nor the building of bigger barns “to store all his grain and his goods in them”. It was the fact that in his reasoning he talked to his soul whilst forgetting everything about God. He said to his soul (which is an image of God, but not God): “My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time”. His soul was more important than God. God is not mentioned, not even considered, not even thanked for the good harvest. This rich man’s reasoning was solely to “take things easy, eat, drink and have a good time”.  Furthermore, the man seemed set to think along this way of reasoning for a long while ahead … because he was thinking “for many years to come”.

Even though this man was not ready to communicate with God and put God into his reasoning, God was still ready (as in fact He did) to communicate with him and ask him one question to which God Himself did not wait for the answer: “This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?” It was for his soul that the demand will be made – the soul which is the most important thing in his life and with which he used to communicate. But God does not wait for an answer from this rich man who was addressed as “Fool”. God’s question to this man was an open question.

The same question is asked to each one of us individually and when we give our answer to this question, it cannot be about this particular rich man. Our answer cannot be for someone else.  Neither can we expect someone else to answer for us. We too are given “good harvest” from God – whatever we have was given to us by Him. But how are we treating the crops that He has given us? Does God enter in our reasoning? Where are we storing up all our treasures (which God Himself gave us through His Providence)? Are we making ourselves rich in the sight of God? Or are we storing up treasures for ourselves IN PLACE of making ourselves rich in His sight?

Lord, help us to build our treasures in such a way that we make ourselves rich in the eyes of God and nothing takes His place in our heart, especially the earthly treasures.  Thank You Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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