Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Monday 21 October 2019
Gospel: Luke 12: 13-21
The episode in today’s gospel is found only in the Gospel of Luke and does not have a parallel in the other Gospels. The gospel today gives the response of Jesus to the person who asked Him to be the mediator in the distribution of an inheritance.
At the time of Jesus, the inheritance had something to do with the identity of the person and with survival. The greatest problem was the distribution of the land among the sons. If the family was numerous, there was a danger that the inheritance would be divided into small pieces of land which would not have guaranteed survival of all. In order to avoid the disintegration of the inheritance and to carry on the name of the family, the firstborn or eldest received double of what the other sons received.
In the response of Jesus appears the knowledge which He has of His mission. Jesus does not feel sent by God to respond to the request to be arbitrator between the relatives who argue. But the request of this man leads our Lord to the mission to orientate persons. It was part of the mission of Jesus Christ to clarify the sense of life. The value of life does not consist in having many things, but rather in being rich for God. The rich man thinks only of accumulating in order to guarantee a life without worries. Anyone who only seeks to have, and forgets to be, loses everything at the hour of death.
How can one become rich for God? Jesus gives several suggestions and advice: anyone who wants to be first, let him be last; it is better to give than to receive; the greatest is the smallest) he/she who loses his/her life will save it.