We are living in a time when materialism is running rampant.

Perhaps one of the most obvious indicators of our decadent lifestyle, is the houses that we “need”.  Since 1973,  home size has increased by 1000 square feet and the average living space has doubled in the last 40 years.

All this stuff costs money, money most of us don’t have.  So we borrow and become enslaved: US consumer debt has grown by a factor of 4 1/2 when adjusted for inflation.

The debt is enslaving, requiring both dad’s and mom’s to work, straining marriages and leading to the out-sourcing of parenting of children to contract daycare workers.

What would Jesus have thought of this?  Not much.

In fact, Jesus has given Man plenty of warning about the destructive effects of building out-sized structures.  Consider the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21):

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; 

and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 

And he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 

And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ 

But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 

So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

To make matters even more pointed, Jesus was giving this warning at a time when lifestyles were much, much more humble than today.  Monsignor Charles Pope offers a glimpse into the kinds of homes that people lived in at the time of Jesus.

Men, we’ve been warned.  Look for ways to simplify and downsize so that your lifestyle doesn’t make you a Rich Fool.