Archive for August, 2010

Humility Engenders Happiness

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sir 3: 27-18, 20, 28-29: 6-9; Heb 12: 18-19, 22-241; Luke 14: 1, 7-14

Dc. Larry Brockman

True Humility engenders Happiness.  That is the essence of what our readings tell us today.   

First, let me tell you about two truly humble people-  Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig von Beethoven!  I’ll bet that surprises you because today both of these famous composers are held in such high esteem that you might not think that they were humble in their days.  So let me explain.   

The fact is that some of Bach’s greatest music was written for the Catholic Mass.  That was his passion, writing music for religious settings.  And yet, Bach was a protestant, and so, his own church didn’t perform his greatest music- because there was no Mass.  Neither did the Catholics perform it- because Bach’s Mass music required an orchestra; but orchestras were forbidden in those days in the midst of a Mass; and so some of Bach’s greatest music was never even performed until after he died.  Similarly, Beethoven’s greatest music was written for the piano, an instrument that was not readily available in his day.  And so 30 of his 32 piano sonatas were not performed at all until after Beethoven’s death.  These men did not write their music to cater to the popular music of their day in order to gain riches or receive praise and honor.  Rather, they responded to the creativity that God blessed them with in the ways that God prompted them.  Their reward was not an earthly reward in their day.  That is true humility.   

Such humility can set us free as well.  Because we will not carry around unrealistic expectations of reward or recognition or status as we exercise our talents.  That is why Jesus advises folks to mix with the lowly rather than take a place of honor at the banquet.  When we do that, we are free of the burden of our expectations, and can relax and enjoy life- we can be happy.  After all, God gave us our talents, and God will see that our talents are properly rewarded- but in his way, not ours.   

Real happiness, it seems to me, comes from a feeling that we are in a right relationship with God not from recognition by others for the things we do.  And people who are truly humble recognize that it is not through their talent; but it is through the talent and inspiration that God gives them that they succeed.  What makes them happy is using their talents for God’s purpose.  That will engender real joy and happiness, because it implies mutual recognition of a right relationship with God and that kind of joy carries over into eternity.   

How can we become truly humble and experience the happiness that goes with it?  Well, the first problem that we have as humans with all of this, is obtaining true humility.  How can we do that- to learn to be truly humble?  First and foremost we need to pray, the kind of prayer that is a two way communication with God; the kind of prayer that helps us to acknowledge God’s greatness and our dependence on Him; and the kind of prayer that helps us to feel inspired to do something, knowing that God will be there helping us along.   

Second, we need to stop centering our thought processes and actions on ourselves.  That means we should cool it with talking about ourselves; and be open to what is going on with our neighbors.  So, the next time you get with your neighbor- make it a habit to listen more and talk less!   

And lastly, we need to be proactive in serving others with our talents rather than using our talents for our own benefit.  This is one of the things Jesus recommended in the Gospel today.  Hold a celebration with those who can’t repay you, rather than holding one with your friends, from whom you can expect to return the favor.  Such kindness frees you of expectations, and gives you a sense of elation in raising other’s spirits.  All these things help to make us truly humble.   

But there is another problem we have with this whole idea of humility and happiness- that’s the Happiness part.  Perhaps it’s because we are not really sure of what true joy and happiness is.  I think it is easy to confuse pleasure with happiness.  But pleasure is short lived and passing; it is more physical and less spiritual.   Happiness is long lived; it is more spiritual and less physical.  Listen to what the second reading has to say about happiness.  There Paul contrasts the fear and anxiety of the people who followed Moses to Mount Zion as they lived the Exodus experience here in the flesh with the joy and happiness that those who enter the heavenly Jerusalem, a symbol of the Kingdom of God, will experience.  Only when we enter the Kingdom of God will we be joined with God and his angels and the spirits of the just.  Only when we enter the Kingdom will our status and position not matter.  The only thing that will matter; the only thing that will bring us happiness; will be our Communion with the Saints in the presence of their God.  True humility leads us into that kind of happiness

On Vigilance

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

1 Cor 1: 1-9; Mt 24: 42-51

Dc. Larry Brockman

Vigilant.  Jesus wants us to be vigilant, to be watchful, lest a thief come and steal us blind.   

Modern day thieves come in many forms.  But the ones we need to look out for the most are the spiritual thieves- thieves who rob us of our innocence or our dignity, or our virtue.  These are the thieves who ruin our relationship with God, so that when the Lord returns, we are not ready.   

The world is full of these kinds of thieves.  Some of them offer pleasure and power at the expense of our innocence or dignity or virtue.  Their theme is “Have a good time now, enjoy life”   But we must always be vigilant that we don’t put God’s plan for us on the back burner by abandoning God’s law and his plan for us.  For example, we cannot afford to defer our responsibilities to our children, or our responsibilities to know, love, and serve God; and we cannot afford to be sidetracked by subtle forms of addiction- food, sex, sports, or whatever they may be.   

And then there are those who argue that we should be tolerant of other values because we live in a free society.  But some of these values move society away from God, and they can slowly poison our own relationship with God.  The Pro Choice agenda, Cohabitation before Marriage, and spending beyond our means come to mind.  Before you know it, we can find ourselves drifting away from our core values because “everybody does it”.     

Indeed, we are advised that we should always be prepared for the return of the Lord.  And as the Gospel parable clearly says, that preparation includes responsible stewardship of the Master’s precious affairs.  What could be more precious than our core values? 

When we are in the prime of life, the return of the Lord seems so remote and distant.  But, the reality is that life is very precious.  Just a couple of weeks ago, one of our parishioners, a young woman, died from complications to childbirth.  And at the same time, a young parishioner of 22 died in a terrible car crash.   Just this week, a seven year old girl in our parish died suddenly.  Indeed, it can happen to any of us.  So be watchful, and be prepared for the Lord’s return by guarding your core values as Christians. 

The Agonizing Journey

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010


21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is 66: 18-21; Heb 12: 5-7, 11-13; Luke 13: 22-30

Dc. Larry Brockman

What’s with this narrow gate talk any way?  Wasn’t everybody saved by Jesus’ death and Resurrection?  All we have to do is believe, right?  So why the talk about a narrow gate.    Perhaps we should step back and look again at Salvation. 

It is popular today to talk about how much God loves all of us, and that He saved all of us.  Yes, everybody was saved by Jesus sacrifice on the Cross.  But that doesn’t mean that we will all find our salvation.  Jesus makes that quite clear in this parable.  To find our salvation, we all need to strive for it.  We need to seek out the Kingdom of God. 

Notice that Jesus never answers the question of how many will be saved.  The answer He gives is personally directed to his questioner.  Jesus says, in effect, that it is not your concern how many are saved.  Rather, your major concern is whether you will be saved.  And so, Jesus advice is to “Strive to enter through the narrow gate”.  Now the word “strive” was translated from the Greek word agonizomai.  Our word agony comes from this word.  So, the sense of Jesus’ meaning of “striving” then, is an agonizing, consuming effort.  That is what Jesus is telling his questioner he needs to do to enter the narrow gate- to make an agonizing, consuming effort, to find his salvation. 

Wouldn’t the same thing be true for you and I?  That means several things when you think about it:  First, it is not enough to just say “I believe”, rather, we have to know the Christ we profess to believe.  We cannot be like the folks who ate and drank with Jesus in the parable and then were told:  “I do not know where you are from”.  That’s because these folks heard the message, but were not involved with their God.  They were there- but were bystanders.  So , the Master says he did not know them- twice.  He goes on to say to these people- “Go away you evil doers?”  Seems like such a harsh statement.  Is it possible that you can come to Mass every week and you can be involved in parish activities but still not gain eternal life?  These folks said that they ate and drank in the Master’s company.  I think Jesus is telling us we not only need to believe, but we also must be in a committed, life-changing, personal relationship with Christ.  Your relationship with Christ needs to be living, lasting, and ever growing, so that Christ affirms that He does have a relationship with you. 

We can come to know Christ that way through prayer.  We do that by making room for prayer in our busy lives.  We especially need a two way conversation in our prayer, so that we hear God as he pulls us towards the narrow gate.  Our parish is blessed with the Perpetual Adoration Chapel.  Visiting there is a great way to get away from it all and get to know Christ better.  It’s a great way to begin and sustain that two way conversation with God.  Also, in a few weeks, our parish will begin “Why Catholic”.  “Why Catholic” Discussion groups will be formed to explore the Catechism, another great way to know Christ,  Because the groups will explore details about God and what we believe about faith, morals, sacraments, and prayer in our Church   

Second, we have to get rid of extra baggage.  One can not get through a narrow entrance with arms full of heavy baggage.  Our excess baggage may be things, things we are addicted to; too much TV; too much food; too much drink; or too much gossip; even too much football.  Of course, I am not guilty of any of those things!  Or, it may be baggage we carry by virtue of our attitudes:  Laziness and fear come to mind.  Sometimes we just don’t want to get up and go; it’s easier to just stay the course.  Others are afraid to try something new for fear of failure   But, both of these attitudes amount to excess psychological baggage that we carry around with us, burdens that keep us from “striving” for God’s Kingdom.   

Third, we must actually strive to enter the narrow gate.  Striving involves action- not a passive existence.  All too often, our lives are characterized by a routine, a sort of settling into a comfort zone.  It may be a busy life, even a very dynamic life, but just the same, it is a life that is mostly focused on our own families and friends and problems, while our relationship with God remains static, not dynamic.  Being in a growing and living relationship with Christ means that we are open to risk.  Risk means moving out of our comfort zone, our immediate circle, and getting involved with the larger Church by “Striving” to live our lives as a Christian in service to others- responding to those little nudges you hear in your prayer life, things that Jesus may be calling you to do.  These are ways to “strive” for your salvation on the way to the narrow gate.  They are strivings which involve a commitment of the heart- not just of our time and effort.  The call may still be close to home, in our families.  Or we may be called to help outside of our immediate family.  But it would mean things like helping someone who is sick or ill; becoming involved in a youth program, RCIA, or Prep; visiting and caring for the elderly; or helping with the poor and marginalized.  Holy Family has very active ministries to the sick, youth programs, Prep, and Rest Home Ministries.  And our St. Vincent De Paul Society chapter operates a store in Clermont, and provides on-campus counseling and aid to the community.  Additionally, our Just Faith program is identifying other ways for us to share our talents with the less fortunate.   

The Gospel ends with the people who think they knew Jesus, but who are on the outside, seeing others from all over enjoying the Kingdom instead of themselves.  And we hear “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”.  Truly, it matters little how well regarded we are in the eyes of society.  All that matters to God is what is in our hearts.  We have to strive with our hearts, minds, and bodies to be strong and enter that narrow gate.  Unfortunately life is like that- an agonizing, consuming commitment to Christ is needed to get through the narrow gate o the heavenly banquet.     

The Establishment Ignores the Invitation

Thursday, August 19th, 2010


Thursday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Ez 36: 23-28; Matt 22: 1-14

Dc. Larry Brockman

How would you feel if you invited people you really loved to a celebration at your home, a special celebration- a wedding anniversary, a graduation party, or a holiday party; and few, if any of your family and guests attended?  Instead, they offered excuses, or insulted you when you contacted them, or just ignored you.  Anger and resentment come to mind over such an ungrateful and insensitive group of guests.  And yet, this had happened to our ever merciful God over and over again in salvation history. 

The Jewish people had been given a very special status- they were the chosen people.  They were blessed with special covenants between God and themselves- covenants with Abraham and Moses and David.  And yet they failed to show up at the party over and over again.  But our most gracious, loving, and all forgiving God kept trying.  Indeed, in our first reading, he even talks about inviting those who were spread out over the world, those affected by the Diaspora because of their rejection of the covenants.  Indeed, there is a theme of universal acceptance in our first reading today.  As long as these Jewish people would repent and accept God, and would come forward and accept His invitation, they, too, were invited to the party.   

This is the context of our Gospel reading.  Because Jesus is foretelling the rejection of the new covenant that He proclaims, the message of the Gospel, by the Jews.  It is the Jewish leaders who those who kill God’s messengers represent in the parable; and it is the Jews who the people who ignore the invitation to the banquet, or offer excuses, represent.  And so, Jesus is telling the Pharisees and the Jews about the coming invitation to all of us- the Gentiles- because the chosen people have rejected the invitation.  And so, everyone will be invited, including anyone right off the streets regardless of their status- social or political or economic or race or nationality.  Jesus words in the parable implied all this for those who cared to listen.  And that would have been absolutely scandalous ion his cultural establishment.   

Today, we are the establishment- the Christian believers rather than the Jews.  But we face the same challenge as the Jewish people did.  Many of us pay lip service to our invitation; some of us have excuses; some of us ignore it; and still others are hostile.  And our leaders- well some of them are beating up God’s messengers pretty severely.  If we accept the invitation- that means we accept our faith and we ready ourselves for the banquet.   We give a resounding AMEN to the invitation.  But recognize that God sees in the hearts of all men.  And so many will be invited, even those our establishment thinks it would be scandalous to include:  Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, even Jehovah’s Witnesses and other sects.  They could get in to the Kingdom instead of us.  Indeed, God sees the hearts of all men-.   And so, He knows whether we are covered by a wedding garment or not. 

On Forgiveness

Thursday, August 12th, 2010


Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Ezr 13: 1-12; Math 18: 21 – 19:1

Dc. Larry Brockman

Is there some sin that you are guilty of that you fall to over and over again?  Maybe you’re impatient and lose your temper, or take the name of the Lord in vain, or participate in gossip.   And who among us hasn’t had some sin that we truly recognize as a whopper sometime in our lives.  All of course, except me! 

Of course you can always go to confession and confess those sins. even if it is something you do over and over again.  We are confident, because of God’s word to us that we will be forgiven of whatever it is that we have done, as long as we admit our sin and are truly contrite at the time.  And it doesn’t matter how serious the sin is or how often we do it.  What an awesome God we have!   

And yet, when it comes to forgiving others, well, most of us have a problem with that.  But here we have it straight from Jesus.  Seven times seventy times we are to forgive.  Now that doesn’t just mean 490 times and then no forgiveness is needed, because 7 is symbolic of the perfect number.  So, we are to forgive ten times the perfect number squared.  (Sorry, but I’m a retired Engineer and I just couldn’t help that.)  But just think of what that means- ten times perfection times itself.  That’s pretty close to infinite forgiveness.  We expect from God the same kind of infinite forgiveness when you come right down to it.   

This morning, recall some of the people who you have trouble forgiving, and then think of how you would feel if God treated you the way you have treated these people.  I know it’s tough, but we have all got to forgive people who trouble us.  Has one of these folks tried to mend the fence?  That’s their form of being contrite.  And for those who wrong us over and over again, is it something that is symptomatic of human weakness, not really bad intention- maybe teasing or nagging or some habit that bothers you.  Aren’t all of us guilty of the same human frailties, except me, of course? 

We need to forgive our neighbor seven times seventy times, because that is a sign of true humility and a contrite heart.  These are so essential in our appeal for forgiveness to our God, because they show what it means to forgive our brother from our heart. 

We Are All Public Stewards

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

  19th Week in Ordinary Time

Wis 18: 6-9; Heb 11: 1-2, 8-19; Luke 12: 32-48

Dc. Larry Brockman

Faith and Obedience go hand in hand!  All three of our scriptures today demonstrate this.  The Hebrews obediently followed God’s directions on the night of the Passover because they believed God’s promise that they would be spared.  And Abraham obeyed God’s call to journey to a foreign land because he believed in the one true God’s promise of the inheritance of a promised land.  Indeed, men of Faith in the Old Testament demonstrated that their Faith was real by obedience to God’s call to them.  It wasn’t enough to just say you believed, or even to show up at the temple and worship.  Rather, these men of Faith did extraordinary things to show their faith and when you look at each of the incidents described in the first two readings, you find that the hallmark of the obedience is trust.  Trust that the Lord, in whom they believed, would not let them down.  And so, these patriarchs of the Old Testament obeyed the Lord in difficult times, trusting in the Lord.   

Now there is a very important statement in today’s Gospel that reads  “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more”.  This is Jesus answer to his disciples, who ask him if the first parable applied to everyone or just to them, the leaders.  Jesus second parable talks about what is expected of the Faithful  to whom he entrusts much- like his disciples.  The answer is still Faith and obedience- but with an added wrinkle that the more we are entrusted with, the more faithful and obedient we are called to be. 

Jesus talks about a Master who chooses a servant to handle his affairs-   The master entrusts all his affairs to this servant.  So, this servant is acting as a leader of many.  Now the servant needs to be obedient to the Master’s will to maintain the Master’s trust.  The parable says some servants were obedient- they followed directions and were constantly prepared for the return of the Master.  Others were not ready out of lack of attention or ignorance; and still others were just plain disobedient- following their own designs.     

Likewise, the Lord chooses us and entrusts us with something:  For some, this is a talent, or a certain degree of wealth.  For others it is a certain amount of public responsibility; and for still others, the authority to govern.  Basically, we are the Lord’s servants- acting as stewards of the whatever he has entrusted us with; and so, each of us is called to show that we really do believe in our Faith.  We do that by being obedient to God’s law as we act as stewards and discharge our responsibilities.   

Following the parallels in the parable- those who recognize the stewardship God invested in them but defy God will be condemned- sounds like Hell; those who are ignorant of what they have been entrusted and do not act properly, but not out of defiance, will still face God and his justice, aut a lesser punishment- sounds like Purgatory; and finally, those who are ready for the Lord at judgment, will be rewarded- sounds like Heaven.   

Just like the apostles, some of us are entrusted with more.  And it is to those who entrusted with the most, those who govern, that even more is expected.  We are just weeks away from our Primary elections, and after that, the November General Election.  The people who serve us as public officials ultimately serve God and are accountable to him.  They are the folks to whom much more has been entrusted, because their decisions effect all of us.  But that does not absolve us of our duty because, fortunately for us, our society elects our officials.  They are servants of God who act as the master on behalf of the Lord, but we are responsible for choosing them.  And so all of us share in the stewardship of governing.   

I cannot recall a time in my life when so many moral issues have been at stake in our society:  reckless economic policies that have wracked up an incredible and shameful public debt-it’s the same as stealing; public funds being used for abortion; illegal drugs and associated violence; an attack on the sanctity of marriage; the Gulf oil spill caused by carelessness and greed with all of its consequences; and continuing radical terrorist factions that intend to use even nuclear weapons against us if given the chance.  

It is the duty of each and every one of us to be obedient to our God and thus, demonstrate our Faith to Him.  First, by knowing what God’s law is on these complex moral issues; second, by being obedient to God’s law with regard to these issues; and third, by electing public officials who will act as good stewards as they lead us. 

Now some say there is a distinction between living our lives as Christians, and requiring that everyone in a pluralistic society abide by our Christian values.  These folks believe that to adopt our morals as public policy puts our freedom in danger.  Some of these people are our elected officials.  But there is a greater danger.  There is the danger that we can act as poor stewards of God’s creation by not representing our God.  The German Theologian Dietrich Boenhoffer said it very well, and I quote:  “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.   Not to speak is to speak.   Not to act is to act.”

It is time for us to act, to speak up, and to vote our convictions- to vote as good stewards of the Lord’s message, faithful and obedient stewards. 

When the Law is Written on Your Heart

Thursday, August 5th, 2010


Thursday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Jer 11: 31-34; Math 16: 13-23

Dc. Larry Brockman

Is the law written upon your heart- Jesus law, the Christian way of life?  What does that even mean- to have the law written on your heart?   

For the covenant that the Lord gave to Moses, the Israeli’s were required to keep the Jewish Law.  The Law was embodied in the ten commandments, which were written in stone.  The whole law was derived from these commandments, and was taught to the people.  This still happens today- we are taught the written law.  We are taught the catechism, which draws on  the fullness of the written revelation of God, the Bible; and what has been revealed as the traditions of the Church.  And that is a good thing- to know the fullness of God’s law.  But all of this is knowledge of the law- to know what is right and wrong.  But a key to Jesus mission was to assure that the law was written within us, upon our hearts.  And that is different from knowledge of the law. 

Notice that in today’s Gospel, Peter “knows” who Jesus really is.  Peter says: “You are Christ, son of the living God”.  This is not something he could have learned from scholars of the Mosaic Law.  Rather, it was a “sense of knowing” that came from his heart.  It was something revealed to Peter by God,   It was a feeling within Peter that came to him as a result of all of the experiences he had with Jesus.  It became a “knowing” that was deep within him.   

When the law is written in your heart, it can be said that you have that “sense of knowing”.  It is the light that comes on within you when you recognize the truth, when everything makes sense; it is that little voice inside of you that then moves you in new directions; and it is what your conscience tells you should not do when you are tempted.   

Notice also that Jesus validated Peter’s “knowing” of the truth.  How wonderful that must have been for Peter!  But then something happened that contrasted strongly with that validation.  Because at the end of the Gospel, Jesus words are very stern, calling Peter a Satan.  Jesus accuses Peter of thinking as human beings do rather than as God does.  We can have the same problem.  Sometimes we have a “knowing” of God’s law, God’s will, in a situation.  But when it comes down to living in the real world, we think as human beings, and we can be an obstacle to God’s will.  We can have a problem putting what is written in our hearts into action: the call to a vocation; helping to meet the needs of a family member or friend; a sense of forgiveness for a wrong done to us; and the recognition and acceptance of suffering.  It is in those situations that we need to remember this advice from our Psalm:  “My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit, a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.”   Because that’s what it means to have the law written upon our hearts. 

Life Versus Vanity

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Eccl 1:2, 2: 21-23; Col 3: 1-5, 9-11; Luke 12: 13-21

Dc. Larry Brockman

 “Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity”.  Sounds cynical, doesn’t it? 

And yet, Jesus makes the same point in the Gospel.  First He says: “Ones life does not consist of possessions”.  Then He tells the parable of the rich farmer who tried to store up treasure on earth so that he could “eat, drink, and be merry” for many years.  But God called the man that very night so that his long range plans counted for nothing.  That, indeed, is vanity.   

If you step back for a moment and look at your life, what do you see as your priority in life?  Some people sacrifice living life for a long time so that they can have a comfortable life later, as if a good life does consist in having possessions.  That’s what the people in both the First reading and the Gospel parable did.  They worked hard and tirelessly for possessions, but ended up leaving it all to someone else who had not labored for it because they died before they could benefit from their wealth.   

At first, the possessions part of Jesus words seems to be the primary message- don’t hoard, because you just never know when the end will come.  Indeed, all the gifts that we have, no matter how they were obtained, are God’s gifts to us.  They are not of our own making, but rather, they are the fruits of God’s gifts of talent and energy that He has given us.  So, we do need to be generous and share such possessions, rather than hoard them for later.     

But that is not the only danger of such a priority on life.  You see, there are other, more subtle dangers.  When Jesus says  “Life does not consist of possessions”, we immediately jump on the “possessions” part of His statement.  But what really matters is the “life” part, because if life does not consist of possessions, then just what does life consist of?   

Life, it seems to me, is what Jesus wants us to live for.  What is it about life that we all live for?  Well, it is family and relationships; it is an appreciation of the wonders of God’s creation; and it is an active involvement in something else other than oneself.  That’s what makes life worth living.   

When our priority in life is working for “things”, or hoarding “things”, or even using things; then we are self centered, and that is not living life.  Life is involvement in God’s creation- an active and an interactive way of being.  Life is using the talents God gave us to make the world a better place; it is sharing ourselves with others; and it is loving relationships that last.  God, after all, is interactive, and he formed us in his image and likeness so that we would be interactive as well.  He did not make us so we could become islands unto ourselves.   

Now one of the biggest problems with centering our lives on things, is that it can derail us from actually living the interactive life God intended for us. If we fall into a pattern of life that lacks such interaction with each other, we can actually lose our ability to “live” life.  Why? Because we can be so set in our ways that we can’t change.  We no longer interact; and we can find it hard to start to do so again.  We become the proverbial Mr. Scrooge and as Charles Dickens famous story so clearly established, that was no way to live life.   

But, that is not the only hidden problem with a priority on oneself.  Because when we fail to live “life” as God intended, we miss the whole point of life.  We miss the experiences and joys that make life worth living.  That danger can be summed up in the last sentence of today’s Gospel, when Jesus ends the parable by calling the rich farmer a fool for putting all his time and energy into uselessly hoarding what he had.  But then Jesus adds this:  “Thus it will be for all who store up treasure for themselves, but are not rich in what matters to God”