32) In Col 3:5 and Eph 5:5, greed is called idolatry because it tends to become a god thatdrives one to do things that are not good…Real life is rich toward God, not things.” (Bock)
The “parable of the rich fool” is one of four passages that treat possessions (cf.12:22-34, 14:12-33, 16:1-13, and 16:19-31)
LK 12:17 ff
– The rich man has extensive holdings and been blessed by the Lord. Yet, thenumerous uses of the pronoun
goods) and first personsingular verbs suggests exclusive self-interest.
Having laid his plans, the man concludes that he can live in self-indulgent leisure, without anythought for the needs of others.
states: “One becomes rich through diligenceand self-denial, and the reward allotted to him is this: when he says, ‘I have found rest, andnow I shall feast on my goods!’ he does not know how long it will be until he leaves them toothers and dies.”
Despite the man’s prudent and efficient planning to accumulate wealth, God judges him a‘fool’ and requires his soul. In the OT, a fool is one who either acts without God or withoutwisdom about potential destruction. (cf Job 31:24-28; Ps 14:1, 53:1; Ecc 2:1-11, Sir 11:18-19)
The parable does not condemn planning or riches, per se. Rather the basiccontrast is between riches toward oneself and toward God. In LK 19:10, Zacchaeus is acounterexample of a penitent rich man. Errors occur when one stores riches for oneself;assumes that life can be secured and measured by possessions; and when one seesproperty simply as one’s own.
References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
CCC # 2536
: “The tenth commandment forbids
and the desire to amass earthly goodswithout limit. It forbids
arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. Italso forbids the desire to commit injustice by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods:When the Law says, ‘You shall not covet,’ these words mean that we should banish ourdesires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for another's goods is immense,infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written: ‘He who loves money never has money enough.’”
CCC # 2544
: “Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and everyone, and bidsthem ‘renounce all that [they have]’ for his sake and that of the Gospel. Shortly before hispassion he gave them the example of the poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her poverty,gave all that she had to live on. The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory forentrance into the Kingdom of heaven.”
CCC # 2545:
“All Christ's faithful are to ‘direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered intheir pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to richeswhich is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty.’”
CCC # 2547
: “The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in theabundance of goods. ‘Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are thepoor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.’ Abandonment to the providence of the