In today’s Gospel Our Lord is teaching and someone from the crowd suddenly asks him to be a mediator in a dispute between him and his brother. When inheritances divide families it is never a good thing. Our Lord, rightly, points out that he’s teaching, not holding court, and warns the man not to make possessions the purpose of his life. As he reminds us in the parable today, and we all know, you can’t take it with you. Amassing a fortune for yourself, and just yourself, is an exercise in futility. The rich man in today’s parable doesn’t think of family, or friends, or community: he just wants a big barn of grain to provide for himself. Whether he was thinking of a long retirement, early or otherwise, God had other plans and expectations.
Today’s First Reading reminds us that as believers in Christ we have become heirs to the only fortune that really matters. We receive a pledge of it in this life, and, after our death, we come into our full inheritance, an inheritance that lasts forever: the justification and righteousness Paul describes is a communion of life and love with God. We begin it in this life through faith and baptism. We amass its wealth through leading a holy life and seeking to help others to inherit it as well, and we enjoy its fruits together with those we love in eternity. It reminds us that we are sons and daughters of the greatest Father imaginable, with the greatest big brother to boot, a brother who is not shy about sharing his inheritance with us, even when we don’t deserve it.
Let’s focus today on the true inheritance for which we’ve already received a deposit: life in communion with God and with others. Let’s ask Our Lord to show us how we can share this inheritance with others as well.
Readings: Romans 4:20–25; Luke 1:69–75; Luke 12:13–21.