What's After Eat, Drink & Be Merry?
I shall say to myself, “Now you have so many good things stored up for many years 
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”    Luke 12:13-21 

The quote from this weekend’s scripture is not complete as we have heard it. The old axiom says: “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die!” That adds a more sobering note, doesn’t it? So, how should you act in light of this quote of our Sunday Gospel? We might first hear this and limit it to mean what we own. I want to add another understanding or perspective. 
There was a woman who prided herself on her disregard for worldly goods. She would echo today’s gospel and say, “Life doesn’t consist of possessions; it’s all about relationships.”  And yet she treated her relationships like possessions.  
One wrong word from a friend and she played the aggrieved martyr. One wrong action and she cut people out of her life. As one of her family members said, “She didn’t have friends, she took hostages!” Those close to her were always guessing who her next target was and what would set her off. 
The fact is that anything can be treated as a possession, even people. We probably all know a few people who might not think it’s true of them, but they treat their family as a possession, a sort of trophy to display to others. Their main concern is to look good in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. Their kids miss out on their real presence almost as much as the kids whose parents have abandoned them. 
Some people even treat God as a possession. They think they’ve got God in their hip pocket or on their dashboard or otherwise at their beck and call. They would rather control a false god than risk a relationship with the real, true, and living God. There is no need of trusting God because they believe God owes them. 
But God is not a possession, and neither are we. In fact, God continually invites us to enter into a real relationship with him. God will never treat us as objects. Shouldn’t we return the favor? Are you considering all that you own as your possessions to do with as you like without regard to the needs of others? Are you treating those given to you by God in the same way? Maybe you need to recall the sobering missing words from the more familiar phrase suggested by the gospel. Someday we will stand before our God who will ask us, “How did you care for all that I gave you?” How will we answer? 

 Fr. Don


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