Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Lectionary: 114
Read the Gospel: Luke 12:13-21

Gospel Summary

From the crowd, a man called out to Jesus asking for help in a family matter. The man wanted his share of the family inheritance from his brother. Jesus first made it clear that he was not the man’s arbitrator and refused to enter the quarrel. But Jesus did use the opportunity to teach the crowd that placing too much emphasis on the acquisition of material wealth would lead to greed and greed would lead to conflicts in families. Jesus continued by making the point that true security did not exist in a surplus of goods when he relayed a parable about a man who had a bumper crop. So huge was the harvest’s yield that the man decided to tear down his storage buildings and build new ones to hold all his grain. Once everything was stored, the man would have no worries and could spend his life without care. But God demanded the man’s life that night and we are left to wonder what good did all the abundance do the man?

Reflection for Families

How many families do we know about, sadly maybe our own, who have been injured and separated by financial issues. One person expects a portion of an inheritance but doesn’t receive it. Maybe some unexpected person benefits from a family member’s generosity and leaves a brother, sister, or child feeling neglected or overlooked. As parents we want to make the lives of our children comfortable and so we go about accumulating wealth and materials possessions, but the Gospel today cautions us to beware of placing importance in the wrong places. We have no idea what will happen to our accumulations, but we do know God’s promise that if we are prepared at the moment our lives are recalled, we will have wealth beyond measure in heaven.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family

Make a list of all the “extra” things your family has. Most likely the list will be extensive. What things on this list bring your family security? (Remember there’s nothing wrong with taking care of our families and building security!) Now imagine that a great disaster has been predicted for tomorrow and there’s a good chance you won’t be here the next day. Which of these things are now important? Is there anything you would alter on the list knowing that you only have a couple days left on this earth? When you have finished, ask each person what changes he/she might make in his/her life because of this exercise and then help or support one another in those changes.

Discussion Starters

  1. The riches I store up for heaven include . . .
  2. I am especially greedy when it comes to . . .
  3. The richest person I know in the sight of God is . . . because . . .