Faith and Family

Faith and Family for July 31: Parable of the Rich Fool

Old wood barn in a green field with flowers


First reading: Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23

Second reading: Col 3:1-5, 9-11

Gospel: Lk 12:13-21

UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM

A favorite contemporary singer-songwriter of mine is Greg Brown. His blues and folk tunes tell down-to-earth stories. In one of his songs, entitled “The Cheapest Kind,” Brown sings a first-person account of a man who grew up as the son of a preacher. The family was poor, and they traveled about the country preaching the Good News. Their poverty led the parents to reluctantly settle for always buying the “cheapest kind” of food or clothing. But Brown sings that the love in that family wasn’t cheap: It was, rather, what made them truly rich.

His song comes to mind as I reflect on today’s Gospel.  Jesus invites us to ponder what are the true riches in human life.  In the story Jesus tells, the man whose barn is bursting with an abundant harvest, plans on building bigger barns. He believes he’s totally self-sufficient with all that stored-up wealth.

Jesus teaches that those who rely solely on material goods, and allow them to control their existence to the point of greed and possessiveness are storing up treasures that will not last.  It’s being “rich in what matters to God” that is true wealth in the Kingdom.  Examine your heart this Sunday. Have you focused on material goods, treasures that will not last?  Or have you allowed God to fill you with love—with wealth of the “richest kind”?


DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM

In the first reading, what does Qoheleth mean by saying that “All things are vanity”?

In this week’s second reading, Paul encouraged his readers to put all sin and evil aside. What did he want them to focus upon?

In the Gospel, Jesus tells the people to guard against all greed. What is greed?

ACT | By Susan Hines-Brigger

Go through your house and find things that you no longer use or need. Encourage your friends and family to do the same and then come together and have a swap party. Donate any items that are not taken to an organization such as St. Vincent de Paul.

Buy Gratitude and Grit: The Life of Blessed Solanus Casey