Introductory Prayer: O God, I come to you today with all
my human frailty. You know me better than I know myself. I am in your presence to accompany and
console you, not to seek consolation or a nice feeling for myself. Even if I get distracted during
our time together, I want to offer myself to you completely. Please accept this small gift I make
Petition: Lord, give me wisdom
to understand what is truly important in this life., so that I may be prepared for the
The Scorecard of Life: . Driving down the road, a bumper sticker is often seen: “The one who
dies with the most toys wins.” This is a contemporary rendition of the mantra of Jesus’ rich fool:
“Eat, drink and be merry.” Juggling credit cards and all kinds of financing schemes, many people
live life like the rich fool in today’s Gospel. Is the drive for material pleasure, or security,
impoverishing my soul?
2. A Bigger Barn vs. a Bigger Heart: . What will truly
make us happy? Glossy magazine ads are, for some, a source of inspiration on this point. Basically,
they are about “bigger barns”: a hotter car, redder lipstick, spectacular vacations. The rich fool
believes that by increasing his capacity for material pleasure, he will be happier. But it’s an
illusion. Like the running wheel for a gerbil gerbil’s carousel, it is lots of movement without
getting anywhere. We invest energy and effort acquiring things, but the bigger barn brings us little
joy. That’s because our hearts -- not our barns -- are what really need to be enlarged. Our heart
longs for love. That Augustinian restlessness will never leave us in peace until we have encountered
the Lord who loves us and discovered him in the relationships ordained by his providence.
3. When the Final
Curtain Is Drawn: . At the end of this parable, Jesus reminds his listeners of the ultimate
argument against “bigger barns.” Iin essence he sayss, “You can’t take it with you.” There’s a place
in Rome in which this is graphically depicted. The Capuchin church of St Mary of the Immaculate
Conception, on Via Veneto, is affectionately known as the “Bone Church.” Inside there is an
amazingly designed and arranged display made completely out of the bones of four thousand Capuchin
friars! While it may strike at modern sensitivities as somewhat morbid, like today’s Gospel it
teaches an important lesson. All those bones look alike. Unless you are a forensic expert, you
cannot tell who was fat or thin, smart or dull, handsome or homely. Death is the great leveler.
Earthly advantages dissolve. Material goods stay in this world. We go to the Lord to render an
account of our lives at death. As the little sign on the wall of the Capuchin ossarium says, “One
day, we were like you. One day, you will be like us.”
Conversation with Christ: Lord
Jesus, so often I find my eyes looking on the good things of this world more as ends than means. I
need to always keep my priorities straight always: you first and then everything else, inasmuch as
they lead me to youGod. Give me the wisdomprudence to realize that life is short and it must be
lived for you alone.
Resolution: I will live charity today as fervently as if I knew this day
were my last.