Parable of the Rich Fool

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By: Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy
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The Parable of the Rich Fool

Jesus Christ taught, “Take heed and beware of covetousness (that is, beware of the love of accumulating wealth, beware of the attachment to riches), for a man’s life does not consist in abundance of his possessions.”

So that people could understand this better, the Lord told them a parable about a rich fool.

The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully, and he thought to himself, “What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?” And he said, “I will do this. I will pull down my barns and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry’.”

But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

After the parable, the Lord said, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” This is what happens with everyone who gathers wealth only for himself, for his subsistence and pleasure, and not for God, or not for good works pleasing to God — neither to assist neighbours nor to relieve their suffering. Death will come to the man, and his earthly riches will not transport his soul to that brilliant future life.

“Therefore, I tell you,” said the Saviour, “do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, or about your body, what you shall put on, for life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Your Heavenly Father knows you have need of them. Instead, seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” First of all take care of the salvation of your soul by fulfilling the commandments of God. Show mercy to your neighbour, deal righteously with your soul; then, you may be worthy of the Kingdom of God. Then, everything else, everything that is necessary for your physical existence, for life on earth, the Lord will provide for you.

Note: See the Gospel of Luke 12:15-31.

(from: The Law of God
by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)