Daily Devotional for August 20 – 26
Luke 12:13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of [c]covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Prayer: O Lord, deprive me not of Thy heavenly good things.
O Lord, deliver me from the eternal torments. (St John Chrysostom hourly prayers)
Navarre Bible Commentary (this week) on the Rich Fool…
This man is only interested in his own problems; he sees in Jesus only a teacher with authority and prestige who can help sort out his case (cf. Deut 21:17). He is a good example of those who approach religious authorities not to seek advice on the way they should go in their spiritual life — but rather to get them to solve their material problems. Jesus vigorously rejects the man’s request — not because he is insensitive to the injustice which may have been committed in this family, but because it is not part of his redemptive mission to intervene in matters of this kind. By his word and example the Master shows us that his work of salvation is not aimed at solving the many social and family problems that arise in human society; he has come to give us the principles and moral standards which should inspire our actions in temporal affairs, but not to give us precise, technical solutions to problems which arise: to that end he has endowed us with intelligence and freedom.
This man’s stupidity consisted in making material possession his only aim in life and his only insurance policy. It is lawful for a person to want to own what he needs for living, but if possession of material resources becomes an absolute, it spells the ultimate destruction of the individual and of society. “Increased possession is not the ultimate goal of nations nor of individuals. All growth is ambivalent. It is essential if man is to develop as a man, but in a way it imprisons man if he considers it the supreme good, and it restricts his vision. Then we see hearts harden and minds close, and men no longer gather together in friendship but out of self-interest, which soon leads to strife and disunity.
Prayer: O Lord, if I have sinned in mind or thought, in word or deed, forgive me.
O Lord, deliver me from all ignorance, forgetfulness, faint-heartedness, and stony insensibility.
22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why [d]are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not [e]arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek [f]the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Prayer: O Lord, deliver me from every temptation.
O Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desire hath darkened.
Navarre Commentary on Worrying: “When holy Scripture refers to the heart, it does not refer to some fleeting sentiments of joy or tears. By heart it means the person who directs his whole being, soul and body, to what he considers his good, as Jesus himself indicated: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’ (Mt 6:2 1)” (J. Escrivá, Christ is passing by, 164). Our Lord’s teaching is quite clear: man’s heart yearns to possess wealth, a good social position, prestigious public or professional appointments, which he sees as providing him with security, contentment and self affirmation; however, this kind of treasure involves endless worry arid disappointment, because there is always a danger of losing it. Jesus does not mean that man should forget about earthly things, but he does teach us that no created thing should become our “treasure”, our main aim in life: that should be God, our Creator and Lord, whom we should love and serve as we go about our ordinary affairs, putting our hopes on the eternal joy of heaven.
Prayer: O Lord, as a man I have sinned, but do Thou, as the compassionate God, have mercy on me, seeing the infirmity of my soul.
O Lord, send Thy grace to my help, that I may glorify Thy holy name.
Luke 12:35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would [g]have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, write me Thy servant in the Book of Life, and grant me a good end.
O Lord my God, even though I have done nothing good in Thy sight, yet grant me by Thy grace to make a good beginning.
Commentary on Watching for Christ’s Coming:
35-39 In the preaching of Christ and of the Apostles we are frequently exhorted to be watchful (cf. Mt 24:42; 25:13; Mk 14:34) — for one thing, because the enemy is always on the prowl (cf. 1 Pet 5:8), and also because a person in love is always awake (cf. Songs 5:2). This watchfulness expresses itself in a spirit of prayer (cf. Lk 21:36; 1 Pet 4:7) and fortitude in faith (cf. I Cor 16:13). Cf. note on Mt 25:113.35 To enable them to do certain kinds of work the Jews used to hitch up the flowing garments they normally wore. “Girding your loins” immediately suggests a person getting ready for work, for effort, for a journey etc (cf. Jer 1:17; Eph 6:14; 1 Pet 1:13). Similarly, “having your lamps burning” indicates the sort of attitude a person should have who is on the watch or is waiting for someone’s arrival.40 God has chosen to hide from us the time of our death and the time when the world will come to an end. Immediately after death everyone undergoes the particular judgment: “just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment (Heb 9:27). The end of the world is when the general judgment will take place.
Prayer: O Lord, sprinkle into my heart the dew of Thy grace.
O Lord of heaven and earth, remember me Thy sinful servant, shameful and unclean, in Thy kingdom. Amen.
Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food [h]in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
After our Lord’s exhortation to vigilance, St Peter asks a question (v. 41), the answer to which is the key to understanding this parable. On the one hand, Jesus emphasizes that we simply do not know exactly when God is going to ask us to render our account of our life; on the other — answering Peter’s question — our Lord explains that his teaching is addressed to every individual. God will ask everyone to render an account of his doings: everyone has a mission to fulfil in this life and he has to account for it before the judgment seat of God and be judged on what he has produced, be it much or little.
“Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed (cf. Heb 9:27), we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed (cf. Mt 25:31-46) and not, like the wicked and slothful servants (cf. Mt 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal fire (cf. Mt 25:41)” (Vatican II, Lumen gentium, 48).
Prayer: O Lord, accept me in penitence.
O Lord, forsake me not.