Greed or Generosity
The Yanson Group is the country’s biggest bus operators carrying a quarter of a billion passengers annually all over the archipelago. It is popularly known for its Ceres Liner and Vallacar Transit with its headquarters located in Bacolod City. The company operates a fleet of 4,800 buses nationwide. Luzon-based Victory Liner, its closest competitor, has only about 800 bus units. This transportation company with its 18,000 employees and billion-pesos worth of assets, however, is now in peril. The top story circulating among the business community is the feuding and rivalry within the family. The crux of the matter is the ownership and control of the bus empire. Family feud is a dangerous thing. When families turn to the courts to settle inheritance and wealth disputes, trust is lost. Blood is not thicker than water, sometimes.
In today’s gospel, (Lk 12:13-21) someone in the crowd requests Jesus to settle a family squabble. It was common for people in Palestine to bring their quarrels to respected Rabbis for conflict resolution. But Jesus refused to become an arbiter. But as a great teacher, he used this incident to teach his followers the right attitude to material things. He cautions them to be careful of greed. His parable of the “Rich Fool” brings home the message that money is not everything. The Romans had a proverb which said that money was like sea-water; the more a person drank, the thirstier he became. Greed, indeed, is a bottomless pit. Jesus’ insightful advice to everyone: store up riches for yourself in heaven.
The rich man in the parable is considered by the world as intuitive and wise. But God calls him a fool! What accounts his foolishness? He never saw beyond this world. In a certain sense, he was short-sighted. All his plans were made on the basis of life here and now. For people with this perspective, death is a great tragedy. Hence, Jesus wants us to see more. He wants us to look beyond, in the perspective of eternity by reminding us to “seek first the kingdom of God.” While material possessions occupy a place in our life, it should never be at the center. We can always decide to make goodness and generosity the attitude of our hearts.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to overcome my greed and choose to be generous; after all, in life, money is not everything.
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