In Our Lord’s Gospel story, God called the rich man a fool. Why would God have done that? A fool is someone who gives up real happiness in search of something that will turn sour for him.
What real happiness did the rich man miss out on? Well, that’s obvious, he missed out on enjoying the bountiful fruits of his labors. There would have been no need to explain that to the other people in is village.
As the spring harvest approached, the poor neighbors would have consumed every last grain saved from the previous year’s harvest. There would be only warm memories of last year’s wine. For weeks the wicks of their lamps would have stiffened up from lack of oil.
Then, at last! The green stalks turn tan, and men and boys, women and girls are out with their sickles. At night the whack, whacking sounds of threshing fill the village. The winnowing of the cracked grain sends yellow clouds of chaff floating past the great torches, and out into the night.
The earliest grain has been sold, buying oil and wine to gladden the village, and wedding banquets are being planned.
But the rich man misses out on the fun. He has more grain than he can store. So, he postpones all the harvest joys, saying he will work harder than ever, tearing down small barns and building big ones. He promises himself that his riches will give him future happiness. But, oh heck! He dies.
In gathering possessions we come to a date when we have enough. And if we keep gathering past the “enough date,” we will enter a stage where instead of being served by our possessions we will be kept busy serving them. We will be fools.
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