Parable of the rich fool


LUKE 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.”

Remember: Our days are counted!
Through the parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus warns his listeners of the dangers of being materialistic and hedonistic. We are materialistic if we pay attention only to our gains, what to do with them, and how to increase them. We live in a false sense of stewardship and security. We are hedonistic if we do not see any other need, but our personal need to enjoy life, and to satisfy our tastes day after day.
This kind of lifestyle of the rich is foolish, according to Jesus. It does not see what lies beyond, which is death. What will happen to the treasures you have stored when you die? The one who stores treasures not for himself will fare much better at the end.

In the First Reading, the wisdom writer is quite pessimistic about man’s toil and labor. It cannot be in his possession for long. It will be passed on to another person. So why are we preoccupied so much with passing things? We should not work then? No. The reading does not promote laziness. It just reminds us not to worry so much about producing and accumulating things. There are higher values to discover.
The Second Reading is more radical. Paul says, “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” Is this not going to the extreme? No. This is a challenge to those who have been raised with Christ in baptism. They must have higher values — the spiritual ones — that can make them similar to Christ.

All things belong to God. If ever we are blessed with material things because of inheritance or our own hard work and creativity, we should always remember the less fortunate. The wealth that we have accumulated is not for ourselves. As true stewards, we make use of all things that are entrusted to us for the common good. There is no sense of keeping them for ourselves and enjoying by ourselves. It is unchristian. Be wise. Remember: our days are counted.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail:; Website: