Don't be foolish! Don't be a fool!

The subject of the parable, that Jesus told his disciples, did not make a killing for himself.  He made a living.  He did not lie.  He did not cheat.  He did not steal.  He was not condemned for being rich, because being rich is not sinful, and yet Jesus called him a fool.

This man worked hard at being a farmer and as as he looked at his amazing harvest one day, he did not see the hand of Who gave it to him.  What he saw instead was his own work.  He only saw a mirror in which he saw himself.  

To those who do not include God with the blessings they have in life, do not be foolish, do not be a fool.

Once we leave God out of our lives, we think more of what we want, not what we need.  Wanting something is endless and pointless.  Jesus taught us what we need--our daily bread--and that itself is priceless. 

The desire to build more barns to store the harvest was very business savvy. There was nothing wrong in that, except that this man never thought of sharing what he had.  There was no window in his barn through which he probably could have seen an image of God in his neighbor.  The mirror in his house was his only friend. 

He used the personal pronoun “my” four times and “I” five times.  My crops, my barns, my goods.  There is no poverty in possession where there is sharing.  There is no richness in possession where there is poverty in giving. What could be most difficult for us to share?  And what do we fear if we let go of it? 

To those who do not share what God has given them, to those who are selfish and greedy with their blessings, do not be foolish, do not be a fool.

Since his plan was already set, where he had control, he thought he might as well envision his future, where he also expected to manipulate.  This man did not know what we already know: You want to make the good Lord laugh? Tell Him your plans.

We do not have control over and above our future.  “Our lives are like vapors,” as St. James says, “that appears for a little time and then vanishes away."  Whenever we plan things for the future, we should always remember that God is the one in charge and in control.

To those who make plans and leave God out, do not be foolish, do not be a fool.

To be a fool is to have missed the meaning and essence of life.  It would be so unrealistic to think that we would live in this earth forever.  Even if we live the best year of our lives, it would still be boring.  To paraphrase St. Augustine, our hearts would be restless because we would never end unless with Him, who made our longing hearts.

Death is the greatest equalizer.  What are we leaving behind but our tired and weary bodies?  What are we looking forward but a glorified and better life?  When all our time and energy are devoted to selfish pursuits, to the I-me-my of our existence, then death knocks and discloses the time we have wasted and the poverty of our hearts.

A priest was telling an eighty-year-old woman that, at her age, she should be giving some thought to what he called “the hereafter.” She said to him, “I think about it many times a day.” “Oh, really?” said the priest. “That is very wise.”  “It’s not a matter of wisdom,” she replied. “It’s when I open a drawer or a closet, I ask myself, ‘What am I here after?’”

Location, location, location.  Priorities, priorities, priorities.

To those who have set their hearts in the wrong places, to those who love this lower location than the higher one, to those who have wrong priorities in life, do not be foolish, do not be a fool.

God has his plans for us.  His love and generosity are completely identical with his identity and personality.  Greed, avarice and selfishness are not. 

Everything from God is meant to bless others, too.  His generosity is without limit and we are also bound by that same generosity and love to share it. You want more, give more.  More barns, more storage, more harvest, more money. Then give more.  Better to give than to receive.  More time? Give more of it, especially to those you love.  More life? Share more of it.

And so finally, to those who find themselves in conflict with what God has planned for them, do not be foolish, do not be a fool.

6 August 2013
Baclayon Church, Bohol * 2013

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