Why The Rich Man Shouldn’t Have Built The Bigger Barn

Why The Rich Man Shouldn’t Have Built The Bigger Barn — The land of a rich man produced abundant harvests and he thought to himself: “What am I to do? I will pull down my barns and build larger ones.”

Now why did that land bear so well when it belonged to a man who would make no good use of its fertility?

It was to show more clearly the forbearance of God, whose kindness extends even to such people as this. He sends rain on both the just and the unjust, and makes the sun rise on the wicked and good alike. But what do we find in this man? A bitter disposition, hatred of other people, unwillingness to give. This is the return he made to his Benefactor. He forgot that we all share the same nature. He felt no obligation to distribute his surplus to the needy.

His barns were full to the bursting point, but still his miserly heart was not satisfied. Year by year he increased his wealth, always adding new crops to the old.

The result was a hopeless impasse. Greed would not permit him to part with anything he possessed, and yet because he had so much there was no place to store his latest harvest. And so he was incapable of making a decision and could find no escape from his anxiety: What am I to do?

You who have wealth, recognize who has given you the gifts you have received. Consider who you are, what has been committed to your charge, from whom you have received it, and why you have been preferred to most other people.

You are the servant of the good God, a steward on behalf of your fellow servants. Do not image that everything has been provided for your own stomach. Make decisions regarding your property as though it belonged to another. Possessions give you pleasure for a short time, but then they will slip through your fingers and be gone, and you will be required to give an exact account of them.

Saint Basil the Great

Why The Rich Man Shouldn't Have Built The Bigger Barn

Courtesy of Holy Myrrh Bearers Church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081. Services are 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m., Sundays.

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