Dear Friends in Christ,
The man in the crowd asking Jesus to settle a family dispute wants him to act like a rabbi. Jesus however, is instantly aware that his request stems from greed and envy. He chooses to expose the motives of the man’s heart rather than settle his grievance. The Lord teaches that the purpose and meaning of life is making oneself ‘rich towards God.’
Greed and envy focus a person on self. Those who pursue wealth seek security and safety. They use their riches to shield themselves from life’s vicissitudes and to find comfort and confidence in material things. In the pursuit of wealth they lose sight of the real meaning of life because they are seduced by the illusion that with their fortune they can control their lives. Yet one day everyone will die – possessions cannot protect against that day.
Furthermore the pursuit of affluence and pleasure eliminates both God and neighbour from sight since the focus is exclusively on obtaining possessions in order to feel secure: ‘I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.’ Finally wealth creates the desire for greater wealth, making the circle of illusion complete.
Being rich in the sight of God brings into sharp focus the purpose of life and allows us to live according to truth. The real meaning of life is that we depend on God for everything; God is the source of all good, and we are created for a relationship with him. Our security is to be found in God alone; we can live with confidence that is directing our lives, and will provide for all our needs.