That’s Life (Eighteenth Ordinary)

Then Jesus told this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My shed isn’t big enough for this harvest’. Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my sheds and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’” (Luke 12: 16 – 19)

I once knew a woman who prided herself on her disdain for worldly goods. She would echo today’s gospel and say, “Life doesn’t consist of possessions; it’s all about relationships”. And yet she treated her relationships like possessions. One wrong word from a friend and she played the aggrieved martyr. One wrong action and she cut people out of her life. She didn’t have friends, she took hostages. Those close to her were guessing what would set her off next.

The fact is that anything can be treated as a possession – even people. I know a few people who might not think it’s true of them but who treat family as a possession, a sort of trophy to display to others. Their main concern is to look good in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. Their kids miss out on their real presence almost as much as the kids whose parents have abandoned them.

Some people even treat God as a possession. They think they’ve got God in their hip pocket or on their dashboard or otherwise at their beck and call. They would rather control a false god than risk a relationship with the true and living God.

But God is not a possession and neither are we. In fact, God continually invites us to enter into a real relationship. God will never treat us as objects. Shouldn’t we return the favour?

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