The Parable of the Rich Fool

Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by GMC

“The Parable of the Rich Fool”
A reflection on Luke 12:13-21
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

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 all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”

Luke 12:13-21

“My kingdom is not of this world.”
John 18:36

Refusing to mediate a financial dispute between brothers, Jesus tells them a parable of a covetous fool. A rich man’s land yields an abundant harvest, but instead of blessing the Lord, he begins a rapacious soliloquy. Plans and calculations coddling “me,” “myself,” and “I” seek one thing—a comfortable nest egg. Where are God and neighbor in his hoarding schemes? In a heartbeat, all the plans of the rich man crash with the imminence of death.

Brothers, if you desire to be truly rich,
set your heart on true riches.

Liturgy of the Hours, Magnificat antiphon,
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“My” treasures hasten the tomb. 
God’s treasures forever bloom.

Related posts: 

Lent, Day 4
Treasures in Heaven

2 Replies to “The Parable of the Rich Fool”

  1. Dear GMC, thank you for your reflection. It reminds me of what Pope Francis once said, Seek “the only treasure” that you can bring with you to the “afterlife,” which is “what you have given to others,” because “I have never seen a removals truck behind a funeral procession, ever.” Thank you, GMC, for always bringing out the best in us!

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