This gospel used to surprise me. I would read Jesusí story about the man with the great harvest who wanted to build barns to store the extra grain in. Why not? In the Old Testament, didnít Joseph save his 11 brothers from a famine by looking ahead and storing up grain?
But in this story, Jesus tells us that God announces the man will die tonight, in spite of his careful planning. In my earlier wondering about what Jesus was trying to tell us about saving, there was one key line I had overlooked, ďThat is the way it works with the man who grows rich for himself instead of growing rich in the sight of God."
Itís not the barns. Itís not the grain. Itís that the man became unbalanced in his life and the barns and grain took on too much emphasis. He thought he could manage his life on his own, without Godís help.
All of todayís readings remind us that we are Godís creation, ďhandiworkĒ and that our salvation is not our own doing, it is God's gift Ė not a reward for anything we have accomplished. Itís hard for us to accept that we arenít doing anything to earn salvation. But we arenít. Itís a pure and simple gift of Godís incredible love for us. It is given to us, not because we deserve it, but because, as Psalm 100 reminds us, the Lord made us, we belong to him. There is absolutely nothing we can do on our own in this world. Isnít it nice to turn over control of our lives to someone who loves us so much?
We could make our lives much easier on ourselves, if we could only let go of the control and turn it over to God. Keep our focus; keep our balance, keep perspective. The only thing we need to keep our eye on is our savior. It is a balance that is captured in this beautiful prayer that is often attributed to St. Patrick:
Christ with me. Christ before me. Christ behind me.
Christ within me. Christ with the soldier. Christ with the traveler.
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me. Christ in every
eye that sees me. Christ in every ear that hears me. Praise
to the Lord of my salvation! Salvation in Christ the Lord.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook