The second reading also warns against greed and calls for us to focus on Christ and the Reign of God. Whereas the first reading cries out that all of life is suffering and empty and is written through the eyes of someone who lives as if God didn’t matter. But Jesus has called us to live with God at the center of our lives. And so the meaning in our lives is found in God and not in the possessions we accumulate.
Often we hear of people whose lives are burdensome under the weight of their possessions, as if they are “owned by what they own”. Our consumerist society tells us that we need to consume, to buy more and more “stuff” and in and through having more “stuff” we will find happiness. But we all know the truth, happiness is not found in “stuff” but rather through relationship with God and with one another. Academic study after study has shown that the accumulation of wealth does not make people happier; on the other hand, clearly poverty causes great suffering. And this is ultimately Jesus’ point about the man in today’s Gospel -- instead of thinking of God (who commanded that the poor be cared for), instead of thinking of his neighbors and those who labored in his fields, he thought
only of himself.
Do my possessions ever get in the way of my relationship with God or with others and my ability to care for the poor and those in need? How do I keep God at the center of my day? What is the difference in my life between what I want and what I need?