The Lord sternly warns us again about storing up treasure for ourselves when we are not ‘rich in the sight of God.’ Ecclesiastes asks, ‘What does a man gain for all his toil,’ except that he has labored much? ‘God turns us all back to dust.’
To those who have an abundance, Jesus holds up a mirror. There is a story about a schoolboy being asked what kind of words are ‘me, my and mine,’ the schoolboy responds that they are aggressive pronouns. In other words, the rich man was aggressively self-absorbed. He went out of his way not to share his wealth with anyone. He lived in a little world, surrounded on the north, south east and west by himself.
Selfishly holding on to material things, emotional grudges, stubborn opinions make the world a very small place indeed; a place where it is harder to breathe and see and share well. When the rich man had a surplus of ‘things,’ it never occurred to him to share. He never learned in his sandbox how to help others play nice.
Self-absorption feeds on a lust for more where greed has no boundaries. The only boundaries are those that keep others out. For those who store up treasure without being rich in the sight of God forget there is only one door to the silo and only one person who enters it: death. Death comes to us all, my friends, and when we least expect. We store up treasure in heaven when we learn to share with those who are poorer.
The Psalm today sings, “Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart.” In the morning, fill us with your love so we may gain success with the work of our hands.
We store up treasure in heaven when we learn to share with those who are poorer.
Saint Paul lays out a plan for success: ‘You must kill everything in you that belongs only to the earthly life.’ ‘There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.’ Hold up the mirror and ask yourself, to I play well with others? Do I share so that others might be better human beings, better Christians?
We should all pray this week that we become unceasingly kind and overwhelmingly generous to others. I know a way to heaven. Find something you cherish and give it away to someone who is poorer.