Be Careful, This Life Does Not Belong To Us!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 31 July 2022

Eccl. 1:2; 2:21-23; Ps. 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14,17; Col. 3:1-5.9-11; Luk. 12:13-21

Life must be organized and programmed. Future must be planned, and income should be spent with calculation. Saving should be prepared. Investment and insurance are the assurance for future, health, and life. Business related to health and life is always promising. Who is not afraid of being sick and dead? These 2 things, especially death, should be able to avoid, at least we could predict them. That is the sign of the wise life of today.

Just like the rich in this parable. The fruit of his hard work is abundant. It should be safely secured to ensure his future, and then, enjoy life! That is fine, as all are of his hard work. The listeners of Jesus might see him as a wise man who is an expert in securing his wealth and future. In addition, abundant wealth is a sign of God’s blessing. But the surprise came at the peak of his success when he was convinced that his life was blessed and his soul could rest with sufficient food! At that point, the rich was judged by God as a “fool” (v. 20). What’s wrong with his life?

First, is selfishness. How many times did he refer to himself? It is 10 times in total that he talked about “I” and about my barn, my harvest, my things, and my grain. Self-centered or selfish is the root of his foolishness. A “fool” is a person who ignores God (Ps. 14:1) and does not obey His will. God’s will related to properties has been written in the Law of Moses and the prophets’ teaching (cf. Luk. 16:31). Properties should be used for the sake of caring and sharing. The rich man didn’t even show any care for his neighbors. The biggest part of this story is focused on himself (v. 17-19). His life diary was programmed and lived without caring for God or his neighbors.

Second, is greed. The rich man’s life is an apt illustration of the danger of greed. For Jesus, a dispute about inheritance is not only about a legal matter but about greed. We have to be careful with this root. Why? For greed could disunite a family. The question of inheritance presented to Jesus is the evidence. Humans judge life and person according to their property. Property is the sign that you exist, the evidence that I exist. Being rich means living merrily and meaningfully.

Third,  hoarding. The rich man could be a landlord. He could have deceived the poor farmers. His plan to build a “bigger barn” shows his greed and cunning: the barn can store more grain in order to resell when the price goes up! Greed makes humans accumulate wealth for their own sake. At worst, wealth accumulation is considered the assurance of life and soul. He forgets that his life is lent to him, and the Lord can take it back anytime. So the Lord’s warning is still relevant: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions” (v. 15).

(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)


Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church this month:

For Universal Churches: Respecting the legacy of the elderly
We pray for the elderly; unto them, we can revive the living root and valuable legacy; may their experience and wisdom be able to assist the youth to face their future with full hope and responsibility.

For Indonesian Churches’ intention: For the anxiety of the youth
May the Church pay special attention to the youth who are depressed, anxious, losing hope and direction for their future due to the impact of this pandemic.


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