18th Sunday in Ordinary Time — Pastor’s Homily

Luke 12:13-21

At first glance, the rich man in the parable for today seems hopelessly self-absorbed and egocentric.  He refers to himself twelve times in the three verses of his monologue.

And yet, if we step back and look at ourselves — and our inner monologue — we might not be much different from him. How much time and energy do we put into what we have, what we do, or what people think about us?

What is our spiritual emergency management plan when disaster comes upon what we have, what we do, what people think about us?  Crisis doesn’t always come with a name: Covid, Katrina, Sandy, Putin.  The crisis is usually very personal – something in health, relationships, finances – and collapses our imagined safety net.

How rich are we in the things of God?  Unless we have developed a way to break the cycle of self-absorption, we’re probably not very rich.

Our minds are conditioned to feed our egos, to reinforce this false self of possessions and roles and affirmation.  But when we sit in silence, in a disciplined silence, a prayerful silence, an expectant waiting, we can catch ourselves feeding the ego, and we can stop it.  And we can discover a lot of life when the ego and the control are turned off. This is contemplative practice.

The good news from our parable today is that there is a spiritual richness when we put aside our ego and enter the abyss of unknowing.  But the void of Holy Saturday leads to Easter Sunday.

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