Catholic Men’s Daily Devotion and Bible Study – 29th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Luke 12:13-21
Following Christ’s strong urging to recognize the reality of God and to put trust in the Holy Spirit, a man from the crowd asks Jesus for help with a worldly dispute with his brother over inheritance; it would be a reasonable request for a typical rabbi to rule upon, but is a demeaning question for the Son of God. Christ bluntly rebukes the man for the insult, ironically saying “Who made me judge” (when Christ has absolute dominion and is the Divine Judge); He then offers a parable to correct the man’s foolish focus on worldly things.
The Parable of the Rich Fool describes the selfish greed that consumes many men. The rich man is blessed with barn-bursting abundance from God’s gift of land, plants that mysteriously bear fruit and the sun and rain. Blinded by selfishness, the rich man gives no thanks to God, nor does he share God’s bounty with the poor. Instead, the fool decides to tear down his barns, replace them with larger ones to hold crops and other possessions and to “retire” to gluttony and sloth. God calls the man a fool and informs him that he will die tonight and that all his “possessions” will belong to someone else.
Several things stand out in the Parable of the Rich Fool. God is aware of the details of man’s life and when men’s lives will end. Everything, including a men’s lives, comes from God. God dislikes and rebukes foolish ingratitude and the selfishness of men. Men must choose to serve God or mammon and each man, whether he realizes it or not, will ultimately face God.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King, Christ refuses to be considered as a simple rabbi and rebukes the man’s inappropriate assumption/question. Son of God, Christ gives an inside view of how the Father “thinks” about the foolish selfishness and ingratitude of men. Divine Teacher, Christ spontaneously gives parables that offer profound guidance to His audience’s confusion and concerns.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Selfish pride is an epidemic as men seek attention and ignore God; when God is rejected all that is left is one’s self. Marvel at how Christ’s Parable of the Rich Fool describes a first person view of how God condemns selfish pride and materialism and how the parable, while ancient, remains particularly relevant today.
2) Losing sight of Christ in the daily Spiritual Combat is a continual vulnerability for Catholic men; the concerns of the world can overwhelm men’s minds. Commit to deliberately offer a simple prayer every time you eat: “Christ, please help me remember that You are with me right now and always.”
3) Many men are modern versions of the Rich Fool, exhausting their energy to obtain bigger houses, luxury cars, “man-toys”, extravagant vacations and a big retirement nest-egg. Pray that Christ converts your heart to remember that all things come from Him, to moderate your desires and to use your life and resources to build His Kingdom.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity
Virtue of the Day – Charity
Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner