The fool (Lk 12:20-12:20)

“But God said to him.

‘Fool!

This very night

Your life

Is being demanded

Of you.

The things

You have prepared,

Whose will they be?’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός Ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται;

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that God said to this rich land owner (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός) that he was a fool, calling him that (Ἄφρων).  A fool was a harsh title, meaning that someone who had no concern for God.  That very night (ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ), God would demand or require the soul or the life of this rich fool (τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ).  Who would get all the things that he had prepared (ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται)?  The best laid plans of men and mice often go astray.  Instead of enjoying his long indulgent luxurious life, this rich man was about to die.  Then the question remained, who would enjoy all the riches that he had attained?  Death is the only certainty in life.  The only question is when?  Work as if you were going to live forever, but live your life and pray as if you are going to die tonight.  Time’s up!  When do you anticipate your death?

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Conduct with others (Sir 13:8-13:11)

“Take care not to be led astray.

Do not be humiliated

When you are enjoying yourself.

When an influential person invites you,

Be reserved.

He will invite you more insistently.

Do not be forward,

Otherwise you may be rebuffed.

Do not stand aloof,

Otherwise you will be forgotten.

Do not try to treat him

As an equal.

Do not trust his lengthy conversations.

He will test you by prolonged talk.

While he smiles,

He will be examining you.”

Sirach has some advice on how you are to deal with other people. You should not be lead astray or humiliated while you are enjoying yourself. If an influential powerful person invites you over, you should be reserved. Thus he will be more insistent. Do not be pushy or you might be pushed back. Do not be aloof and standoffish or you might be forgotten. However, do not treat this person like an equal. Watch out for long conversations because while he is smiling, he is actually examining you.