Recently, I read an obituary which began, not saying the woman had died, but rather with something like, on this date, she had claimed the promise of her baptism…I found it thought-provoking and pondered how this woman must have been keenly aware that she lived each moment in the presence of God… “in him we move, we live and have our being….”
In today’s gospel, Jesus is approached by a rich man wanting a legal judgment that would settle an inheritance dispute in his favor. Jesus answers with a parable about a rich man whose land has produced a bountiful harvest and his primary concern is what to do with this incredible harvest. The number of times we hear the word “I” in the parable underlines the fact that the scope of his thinking is very narrow. He does quite a bit of talking to himself also. There is not even a semblance of gratitude to the Lord of the Harvest, and his thoughts don’t seem to go beyond the end of his own nose! Quite abruptly, God tells this man that he will die that very night. The parable presents a very sad, self-centered rich man, very unlike the woman I mentioned in the first paragraph. She obviously lived a rich life in harmony with God, a life of discipleship, and she knew to whom she belonged. She lived knowing she was loved by God, with a grateful heart, and looking forward to seeing God face to face. What a contrast.
As the days of my (your) life gradually move along, I become more grateful for each day and continue to ask the Lord, “what do you want of me today? How do you want to use me for your kingdom? Whom can I serve?” Our energy may be diminishing but our heart still asks the question…. and God gives us an answer. Unlike the rich man in the parable who busily builds his barns, as disciples we continue to ask, “what do you want of me Lord” and pray for the grace to follow him generously.
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