In today’s Gospel, God spoke harshly to a dying rich man. Let’s look at what happened. The man brought in a harvest that was more than his barns could hold, so he said he would tear down those barns, and as quickly as possible construct ones big enough to hold his crop. But God told him he had to die, and if that wasn’t bad enough, God called him a fool. Why would he do that?
In looking for an answer we might begin with a picture of harvest time with dirt farmers. With little from last year’s harvest left to eat, they had been starving through sixteen hour work days, getting the harvest in. Then, by a stunning reversal, they had plenty to eat, and they had the freedom from labor that brought on marriages and marriage feasts. It was unbounded joy that only the rich man missed out on. Rather than let his abundance serve him, he had to serve his abundance. The man was a fool because he didn’t know how to have a good time.
The second reading, taking a conventional religious stand against wealth has Paul saying, “Think of what is above, not of what is of earth.” But the first reading returned to the viewpoint of God in the Gospel. Ecclesiastes laughed at anyone who spent a lifetime working, only to be forced to leave his wealth to unappreciative relatives.
Praying Your Own Rosary Mysteries, Part 10; this entry is a continuation of a series started on July 23, 2010. Following each homily, I have a passage concerning how to pray your own mysteries of the rosary. This group of mysteries are taken from St. John's gospel. See the first five entries of this series here.
“Was the Word” (2nd God Mystery)
For us the Word is the Second Person in the Trinity, the Son of the Father. If we stop to wonder about it we might ask why John called him the Word. To find the answer to that we might begin by remembering that John wrote his Gospel in Greek. He would not have written the “Word.” He would have written the Greek for that, which was the “Logos.” And for his Greek speaking audience the Logos had a special meaning.
In John’s time the Greeks no longer gave serious thought to their ancient gods. For the most part, they accepted the teachings of the Stoic philosophers. What those long robed gentlemen believed in was a divine principle something like our Mother Nature. To that divine principle in nature they gave the name the “Logos.” The religion of the Stoics consisted partly in eliminating the vices that encrust the Logos in us. It consisted as well in artistic and scholarly pursuits that brought the Logos in them to shine through their baser crust.
For them the divine Logos was only a principle imbedded in nature. If John could be believed, and the Logos had a separate existence as a person it was awesome.