Jesus teaches His disciples how to be rich before God. Elsewhere, in the parable of the Pearl of Great Price (cf Mt 13:45-46), He calls the Kingdom of God the greatest treasure. One is led to sell all his possessions in order to purchase that one precious pearl.
Many worldly riches compete for our attention. The Jews see great wealth as a sign of divine favor. Jesus does not disregard this way of thinking, but he warns the Jews about a skewed understanding of ownership. The desire to lay up treasures for oneself or family can be enslaving, and the assurance it gives to people is illusory and passing.
Jesus thus offers us the real and only dependable wealth we need to store in heaven. In concrete terms, Jesus teaches us to do this by living a life of selfless service and sacrifice for others. He shows that we can be rich in God’s Kingdom when we learn to forgive sinners and to care for those in the fringes of society without calling attention to ourselves.
Security is to be found in what one is before God.
Gospel • Lk 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed Me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then He said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then He told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”