Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Every time I say the Suscipe prayer I feel like a fraud. Do I really mean what I am saying? “Take Lord and receive…all I have and call my own.” Am I willing to give everything to God; to see everything I have as gifts to be used to spread God’s love? More often, I view my possessions as things I’ve earned through my own work to do with what I want. I want to mean what I pray. “You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.” I want to be Ignatianly indifferent, but I fall short.
Like the rich fool in today’s Gospel, I make plans, stock-up, calculate, and prepare for the future. I know that these are not categorically bad actions as long as my perspective is right. All of my possessions and actions are only good in so far as I use them to perform God’s will. Too often I do only what is easy and comfortable. I think that because I am the one holding the steering wheel that I am the one driving. I forget that Jesus is under the hood doing the real work.
How can I make sure to place God at my center today? How can I make sure my plans, projects, purchases, transactions, conversations, and interactions all lead me to achieve that for which I was created?
—Jerry Kinney teachers Spanish, directs Operation Others, and is the Retreats Director at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
—Suscipe of St. Ignatius of LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!