“You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you”
Jesus says, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
It is fairly obvious that our Lord is speaking to those who have many material possessions and have given those inanimate things too much attention and priority. Christianity has always spoken out about the temptation of greed and the hoarding of more than is necessary. (I wonder how the recent billion-dollar Mega winner will fair?). Moreover, it is sinful to place undo priority on things or money over our spiritual and relational development.
With that said, it is worth asking the question as to whether all possessions are associated with the material things we have accumulated over time.
Possessions are a funny thing because a possession can be spiritual as well as physical. A spiritual possession is something we might hold dear to our heart. Some of those possessions are good and healthy, such as a fond memory of someone we love, living or dead. Perhaps it may be a time in our life we hold on to in which we felt most connected to God through prayer and reflection. These spiritual possessions can be good because we are striving for something greater, or as St. Paul reminds his listeners, “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”
On the other hand, not all spiritual possessions are good. What are these harmful possessions? St. Paul again informs us, “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another.”
Along with St. Paul’s advice, spiritual possessions which are evil are anything and everything that we keep in our lives prohibiting us from becoming truly formed anew in the image of Christ, as St. Paul exhorts. They could possibly, but not be limited to: unresolved resentments; selfishness of our time and talent; and, holding back on whom we choose to love and when.
Whatever the improper spiritual possession may be, it probably has its roots in some past negative experience that we can’t, or won’t let go. The holding on of those possessions is a form of greed. Greed is defined as, a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed. The definition can surely include spiritual desires which are unhealthy.
Don’t ever forget, the message of the Gospel is one of positiveness, things born anew from ashes and death. The theme of new life alone should give us the impetus to have the courage to look at our lives honestly and jettison those thoughts, those resentments, or any greedy spiritual possession which prohibits us from becoming new images of Christ.
If you are not convinced yet, then hear again and take to heart one of the most ominous parables every recorded from the words of Jesus. “‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong? Thus, will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”
Our days of becoming anew in Christ are not endless. Sometime and someday, everyone’s life will be demanded of them.