Parables of Jesus


Exemplary conduct

The rich fool

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The rich fool

From the Gospel of Luke Chapter 12, Verses 16-21

Then he told them this parable: A rich man had land that gave him abundant crops. He made these arguments to himself: Now that I have no place to put new crops, what will I do? And he said: Behold, I will do so: I will demolish the old warehouses and build other larger ones. So I can put all my grain and my possessions. Then I can finally say to myself: Good! You have now made many provisions for many years. Rest, eat, drink and have fun!. But God said to him: Fool! Just this night you will have to die, and to whom will the riches you have accumulated go to?.
In the end Jesus said: This is the situation of those who accumulate wealth only for themselves and do not care to enrich themselves before God.

Parable Luke exegesis

Jesus tells this parable to help people reflect on the meaning of life, using a simile that highlights how riches bring with them many worries and fail to extend life by one day. The countryside, that is, a large expanse of land, a large estate of a rich man had given a good harvest. He reasoned to himself: "What shall I do, for I have nowhere to put my crops?" Too many goods cause agitation, because they have as their direct consequence the relentless attachment to them: they fear more for their loss than for the loss of their health or life itself.

The rich man from the parable shows himself very attached to his riches, he is really obsessed by the concern for his goods that grew out of control and out of any forecast, because of the abundant harvest. Just think about accumulating to secure a life without worries. He does not ask himself how he can use these riches, but only how to preserve them. The love of the needy could serve as a "barn" for the salvation of his soul, yet this thought does not appear to the mind of the rich.

"I will do this: I will tear down my warehouses and build larger ones and gather all the grain and my possessions, that is to say gold, silver, the precious furniture I have. Then I will say to myself: My soul, you have many available goods, for many years; rest, eat, drink and give yourselves to joy". The rich man now believes he has reached the height of happiness: eating, drinking and having fun will be his only occupations. "But God said to him:" Fool! Just this night you will have to die, and to whom will the riches you have accumulated go?"".

Similar to this rich fool is he who thinks only of himself, that is, he thinks only and solely of amassing riches on earth, and does not try to do good works and win merit with God. Death makes us discover the true meaning of life, makes everything relative, because it shows what perishes and what remains: those who seek only to have everything for themselves and exclusively material goods, which by their very nature are ephemeral, lose everything at the hour of death.

In this story the evangelist warns us against the thirst for material goods, which drugs life and leads us to idolatry, and distracts us from what matters most, namely from the search for the Kingdom. Luke urges us on the use of wealth, presenting in the parables he reported two opposite attitudes: on the one hand who spends material goods in favor of others, thinking of his future, as the able administrator praised by his master; and on the other hand those who spend them thinking of their tummy, leaving others to waste away at the edges of life, like the rich man.

Do not seize the present moment to think only of yourself, committed to building a future in God. No one can sleep peacefully in the certainty that he will see the dawn of another day. At any moment the Lord can end your foolishness and your indifference towards Him. Those who intend to set out towards God must review their attitude towards earthly goods in the light of the final goal. Our afterlife depends solely on our "on this side", on how we behaved during our earthly life, since in the afterlife we will be what we have been on this journey of preparation for the direct encounter with the Father.