Eat, drink, and be merry (Lk 12:19-12:19)

“I will say

To my soul!

‘Soul!

You have ample goods

Laid up for many years.

Relax!

Eat!

Drink!

Be merry!’”

 

καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου Ψυχή, ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά· ἀναπαύου, φάγε, πίε, εὐφραίνου.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that this rich fool said to his soul (καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου).  He spoke to his soul (Ψυχή) to say that he had ample goods laid up for many years (ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά).  Therefore, he would relax (ἀναπαύου), eat (φάγε), drink (πίε), and be merry (εὐφραίνου), the classical saying for indulging yourself with the pleasures of this world.  Thus, this foolish greedy man thought that his abundant resources meant that he no longer had to work hard.  Now he could enjoy an easygoing permissive lifestyle.  He could retire in luxury.  Do you have enough resources to retire to the good life?

The miser (Sir 14:3-14:10)

Riches are inappropriate

For a small minded person.

What use is wealth to a miser?

What he denies himself,

He collects for others.

Others will live in luxury on his goods.

If one is mean to oneself,

To whom will one be generous?

He will not enjoy his own riches.

No one is worse

Than one who is grudging to himself.

This is the punishment for their meanness.

If ever they do good,

It is my mistake.

In the end,

They reveal their meanness.

The miser is an evil person.

They turn away.

They disregard people.

The eye of the greedy person

Is not satisfied with their share.

Greedy injustice withers the soul.

A miser begrudges bread.

Thus it is lacking at his table.”

Sirach reminds us of the miser or the stingy greedy person. Wealth is wasted on these people. These misers deny themselves the pleasure of their own wealth. In fact, others live in luxury on the goods that they collected. If you are mean to yourself, how will you be generous to others. You should enjoy your own riches. The misers are punished for their meanness by themselves and their begrudging ways. If misers ever do anything good, it is by mistake, because they are evil people. They turn away and disregard other people. These greedy people are never satisfied with their share. They never share their bread with anyone.

Royal power (Prov 19:10-19:12)

“It is not fitting

For a fool to live in luxury.

Much less it is not fitting

For a slave to rule over princes.

Those with good sense are slow to anger.

It is their glory to overlook an offense.

A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion.

But his favor is like dew on the grass.”

A fool should not live in luxury. A slave should not rule over princes. There were clear social class distinctions. Those who are slow to anger show good sense. However, watch out for the senseless king who is angry, growling like a lion. His favor, on the other hand, is like the morning dew on the grass.