The homily is not really about greed, but rather discipleship. A part of discipleship is holding things in perspective and proportion. This is discernment, for the disciple is always confronted with the way one ought to be in the world while living in the reign of God.

Greed is too tempting a thing to talk about, and problematically may tend to turn the homily to the negative, and then miss the point altogether. The context of the journey to Jerusalem for Jesus is training in discipleship. Timothy Luke Johnson is spot on when he writes in Sacra Pagina, that the man in the crowd calling out his question, is clueless. Jesus turns the question into a teaching about the importance the reign of God, God’s providential care over us, and the virtuous life which is wealth in the eyes of God.

I’m sure we all have personal experience of greed or a story of corporate and political greed. After all, some !% have more wealth in the USA than the entire lower 50%. While all this is important when it comes to justice and concord in society, the real issue is racism, the notion that one kind of person is superior to another based on purely false human distinctions. This racism is the underpinnings of the rights to such greed; Colossians notes this truth in the last verse of the passage this Sunday.

The man’s question actually comes fully around, as Luke arranges this material, at the end of these saying of Jesus in Luke 12, 57-59, “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” Again, it is about the disciple discerning one’s way through the world.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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