God’s Blessings: Treasures to be Shared

In Luke 12:16-21, our Lord Jesus tells us the parable of a rich fool.  Rich in terms of worldly possessions, but foolish in living only for this world, for life is short.   Death shows us that we are living on borrowed time, and our possessions are really just a temporary loan.  We do not truly own our possessions as we cannot take them with us when we depart this earth.  All of our possessions remain behind.

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

St. Gregory Palamas (d. 1359AD) commenting on the parable says:

St. Metrios the Farmer

“That rich man whose ground brought forth plentifully (Luke 12:16-21), and that other one who was clothed in purple and fine linen (Luke 16:19-31), were justly condemned, not for wrongdoing anyone, but for not sharing what was theirs. Treasures are common to all, as they come from the common storehouses of God’s creation. Anyone who appropriates what is common as his own is greedy, though not perhaps to the same extent as someone who openly takes possession of other people’s belongings. The first, as an evil servant, will, alas, undergo the terrible punishment of being cut off. The second will be submitted to things even  more dreadful and terrifying. Neither will ever be able to escape these penalties, unless they receive the poor with hospitality, the one making good use of the things entrusted to  him by God, the other distributing what he has accumulated by evil means.” (The Homilies, p 98)

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