The unholy trinity; Me, Myself and I – Monday, 29th week in ordinary time – LK 12:13-21

When you look at this text in the Bible you will notice it has a title which in the RSV reads as “the parable of the rich fool.” I think the pericope (literally ‘a cutting all around’ or ‘a section of’) has not one but two fools.

Jesus is in the middle of exhorting his disciples not to give in to apostasy but to confess him before rulers and authorities. Surely the air was filled with sadness and fear; the reality of persecution being proclaimed by Jesus himself must have sent shivers down the spine of his disciples. And then just out of nowhere emerges “someone from the crowd” demanding that Jesus intervene in a family property dispute.

This ‘someone’ certainly was out of step and perhaps out of his mind which prompted me to begin this exegesis with the declaration that there are two fools in today’s text. There seems to be a tremendous sense of insensitivity if not selfishness in the interruption of Jesus’ teaching and it is this selfishness driven by greed that prompts Jesus to not only break into a parable of another fool but rebuke this one albeit kindly with the word, ‘friend’.

If you look at the parable dispassionately you might begin to wonder, what exactly has this farmer done so wrong to be called a fool?  On examining the details of the parable he has not cheated any one and seems to have worked hard in order to reap a bumper harvest. He seems to be a shrewd business man who is able to invest wisely his bumper windfall by building more barns. On the surface everything seems to be in order. Then why the harsh title of fool?

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