Romans 4:20-25 / Lk 12:13-21
Today’s gospel raises a perennial human question: how much is enough? And the answer as we usually feel it, even if we don’t say it, is ‘just a little bit more.’ It’s strange how that answer can be so consistent at every economic level: What would you like? What do you need? Just a little bit more. And what does that tell us? That there will never be enough to fill us full, as long as we look in the wrong places. The only one who can ever fill us full is the Lord, who made us for himself and who made our hearts to be satisfied by no one and no thing less than himself.
The rich man in the gospel was caught in that trap. His definition of success was very simply ‘more.’ So, when the harvest exceeded all his expectations, his response was to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to hold ‘more.’ On the one hand that seems so logical, but on the other, why tear down the barns, why not share the excess which he obviously didn’t need and certainly hadn’t expected?
This man was known as rich, but in fact he was poor, because he didn’t know how to make the most of God’s gifts. He didn’t know that the greatest joy in having something is in being able to share it or even give it away. That’s God-like joy, and it’s the joy that God wants us to grow accustomed to now, because that kind of sharing of life is what heaven is all about.