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stuffOne of the words heard very commonly today, especially from “baby-boomers” in my circles, is downsizing. When our houses become cluttered with things that are no longer needed or useful, especially clothing, exercise equipment, gadgets or the like, we begin to wonder about the advisability of getting rid of some of them. Sometimes the divestment can be quite painful if what we have has been precious to us in the past. How can I possibly give away my wedding dress or the bicycle that might someday become part of my exercise program…? Even though we may not count ourselves in the company of the greedy, it is easy to see how we can slide into the “too much is never enough” category. (I did actually buy a small bookcase this year – to add to the other three in my bedroom…just for my studies, of course.)

The gospel this morning (LK 12: 13-21) is rather stark in its commentary on greed and the acquisition of too many goods. Luke recounts a parable about a rich man who, when faced with a bountiful harvest, plans to tear down his barns and build bigger ones where he can store not only his grain but his other goods as well. His vision sees him, when the building and storage is complete, saying to himself, “Eat, drink and be merry!” But God calls him a fool, tells him he’s going to die that night and asks what will happen then to all that he has stored up. The moral of the story is a good one for us to consider. Jesus says: “Thus it will be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

So I guess I’d better get about considering what matters to God and at the same time start thinning out my library…and clothes closet…and cache of mementos…