The Gospel reading from the Mass for Monday of the 29th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 12:13-21.

Following His strong urging to recognize the reality of God and to put trust in the Holy Spirit, a man from the crowd asks Christ 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” (ironically, 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 man’s life, 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 and his own eternal Judgement.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine 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) 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. Renew your understanding of the Idolatry of Mammon (CCC 2113, 2445, 2547) and 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.

3) There is an epidemic of obesity in the modern world as men overeat and are lazy; Christ condemns the Rich Fool’s gluttony and sloth (“take…ease, eat drink and make merry”). Refresh your understanding of the sinfulness of Gluttony and Sloth (CCC 1866, 2094) and pray for Christ to to help you have the manly discipline to mortify your body.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory

Virtue of the Day – Prudence

Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant