We all want to have security in life and that is a wise thing. People believe that the best way of securing their future is by accumulating wealth. To achieve that end, some invest their lives into years of studies; Others enter the labour market early in life; others invest their talents in sport and arts; and others again work in different fields. Having a lot of wealth is a good thing. It is a blessing. This blessing is given to us not to be kept, but to share it with others. Those who have greater means, share more; and those who have less, share less. We do it within our capacity. That is the way in which we enrich our inner life, and no one can take away what we had given to others.
Wealth takes many forms. Whether as currency, property, talents or social skills; wealth is meant to sustain and promote lives. When wealth is stored for oneself; wealth causes problems. Jesus gave the parable after an anonymous man from the crowd who asked him to intervene in a domestic dispute between the brothers. The man said, 'Master, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me'. Jesus used this occasion to remind the crowd, that created things in this world all have their time limit. Like us, they are the passing things. No one has the power to keep wealth forever. He told the parable of a farmer who had a rich harvest, and expanded his barn to store the crop for no one else, but only for himself. At the end of the parable, Jesus told the crowd that the man was unwise in using his own wealth, because his approach was a selfish ambition.
The man in the parable is unwise for a host of reasons. First, he failed to learn from nature. His farm had produced crop to its full capacity; but he stopped short of developing his business skills to full capacity. He failed to realize that he had the power to change wealth into love, by sharing it with others. Crops are supposed to be used within a year or two. One can't keep it for too long because, by nature, they will lose taste and quality. When wealth is shared with others, its value is increased, because the poor and the needy enjoy your share, but they can't repay you; the Lord will repay you for them, and God's gift is precious and beyond measure. Transforming that which is limited in value to that which is unlimited, by sharing it to others, is a wise thing to do. The parable reminds us that the created world is a passing one, and no one can possess the wealth of this world forever. It is given to us to share and if we don't share it; when we die it will be given to someone else. When wealth is kept; it is the cause of problems, but when it is shared, it generates love, which is kept in a person's heat. Wealth and problems grow in parallel; the more wealth one accumulates, the bigger problems that person has.
The man's speech revealed that he was a lonely man. He mentioned no one else, just himself. He didn't realize that true happiness and loneliness don't go together. Wealth can make life comfortable, but not secure. He was wrong for being ungrateful to God and to those who had helped him to harvest the crop. Wealth can't stop us from getting old, sick and dying. True happiness comes from giving away, not accumulating. The parable tells us that loving God and loving others makes life meaningful. Apart from love, every created thing is temporary. We are stewards of life, not owner of life. The first reading reminds us that God is the author of all our lives.