In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus warns us against becoming ensnared in worldly concerns to the detriment of our soul. “You fool,” God replies to the man who has been making plans to accumulate wealth, “this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?”
When I was in the seminary, there was a gentleman who spent a lot of time volunteering there in different projects. I learned that he and his family had moved to Emmitsburg when Y2K came (remember that?). They feared a worldwide catastrophe, which was the cause of the move. It, of course, never materialized, but he found himself useful in his new environs around the seminary. He was a good Catholic man, with more than a few neuroses. It saddened me to hear a few years after I was ordained that he had died in a tragic accident following Mass in town. He had been struck by a car as he was leaving Mass, and died instantly. When I spoke with the seminary rector, he showed me another side to the event. The gentleman feared dying without receiving Holy Communion, and he didn’t want a prolonged suffering before death. Everything he desired came about in a way he could never have imagined, going to the Lord right after receiving Holy Communion at Mass.
His story came to mind as I read through this Sunday’s gospel. How many of us out of fear spend so much time trying to secure our earthly security. He, on the other hand, feared for his eternal security, and the Lord provided for him. Many would have scoffed at him for the decisions he made in life, but in the end, who was the wise one? “For the wisdom of this world is folly for God,” St. Paul says. Let us strive to be rich in what matters to God more so than in what matters in the eyes of the world.