The parable in today’s Gospel is not at all puzzling. Jesus tells the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, life does not consist of possessions.” Indeed, as Our Lord concludes, it is foolish to “store up treasure for [oneself] and not be rich in what matters to God.” Our relationship with God should be the top priority in life.
In the Baltimore Catechism, the second question is: “Why did God make me?” The answer: “God made me to know, love, and serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next.” If we make knowledge of God, love for God and God’s people, and service to the Lord and his people priorities in our lives, we make ourselves “rich in what matters to God.”
We can reflect on our priorities by considering what we find time for. When I was ordained a deacon, I promised to pray Morning and Evening Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours daily. I also committed to setting aside at least 15 minutes daily for meditation. I have managed to pray the Liturgy of the Hours virtually every day, although all too often, I find myself doing Evening and Night Prayer in the last half hour of the day. I have not yet managed to meditate for 15 minutes daily—perhaps two or three times a week, but never daily. As for making love for others more significant than love for myself, I succeed much of the time, but not all.
The terms “righteousness” and “righteous” appear several times in today’s Liturgy of the Word. Abraham is described as righteous, and the Responsorial Psalm (from the Canticle of Zechariah prayed daily) speaks of us living “holy and righteous in God’s sight all the days of our life.” By making ourselves “rich in what matters to God,” we become righteous.
Almighty, ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. (Today’s Collect)