Parable of the Unwise Rich

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“Then he told them a parable. There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest? And he said, this is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!’” But God said to him, “‘you fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’  Thus, will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Luke 12:16-21)

 

The parable shows the behavior of a greedy and ambitious man concerned about work to accumulate material goods. The farmer’s monologue is egotist, because a person focused on property, achievement or social position easily ignores God and neighbor.

Accumulate wealth for the Kingdom of God, Jesus said! The Rich before God accumulates wealth for the good of others, works for the common good, and is neither stingy nor prodigal. The real wealth is to love thy neighbor and accumulate good works for eternity.

Saint Basil of Caesarea stressed riches are gifts from God distributed unevenly so that some persons are converted by patience and humility, while others gain treasures to Heaven distributing their goods. Wealth is not bad, but the miser is unwise because he forgets he is managing goods God has given him.

This parable is a warning! We must work and save for the future, but remember life is short and transitory, and we should love our neighbor. In the year 2013, the world population consisted of approximately 7.1 billion people, and 1% controlled 46% of wealth, reported Reuters on October 9, 2013.

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