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?

The use of wine (Sir 31:25-31:31)

“Do not try to prove your strength

By drinking wine.

Wine has destroyed many people.

As the furnace tests

The work of the smith,

So wine tests hearts

When the insolent quarrel.

Wine is very life to human beings,

If you drink it in moderation.

What is life to one

Who is without wine?

It has been created

To make people happy.

Wine drunk at the proper time,

Is rejoicing to the heart.

Wine drunk in moderation

Brings gladness to the soul.

Wine drunk to excess

Leads to bitterness of spirit,

Leads to quarrels,

Leads to stumbling.

Drunkenness increases

The anger of a fool

To his own hurt.

It reduces his strength.

It adds wounds.

Do not reprove your neighbor

At a banquet of wine.

Do not despise him

In his merrymaking.

Speak no word of reproach to him.

Do not distress him

By making demands of him.”

Sirach warns that you should not try to show how strong you are by drinking wine since it has destroyed many people. Just as a furnace tests the iron work of a blacksmith, so too wine tests insolent people when they quarrel. However, wine does have a good purpose. It is life itself when taken in moderation. Without wine, our lives would not be happy. Wine at the proper time and in moderation rejoices and gladdens the heart and the soul. On the other hand, over indulging in wine can lead to a bitter spirit, quarrels, and stumbling around. The fool who drinks excessively increases his own anger to his own detriment. Drunkards lose their strength and sometimes get wounded. If you are at a banquet with wine, do not pick an argument with your neighbor. Do not dislike him for having a good time. Do not criticize him or ask him for anything. It is not the right time.

Gifts (Sir 18:15-18:18)

“My child!

Do not mix reproach

With your good deeds!

Do not spoil your gift

By harsh words!

Does not the dew give relief

From the scorching heat?

So a word is

Better than a gift.

Indeed,

Does not a word

Surpass a good gift?

Both are to be found

In a gracious man.

A fool is ungracious.

A fool is abusive.

The gift of a grudging giver

Makes the eyes dim.”

Be careful when you are giving gifts that your words and attitude not betray your good deed. Do not criticize when you are doing good deeds. Don’t spoil your gifts with unkind words. Just like the morning dew gives relief from the later noon day heat, so too a nice word might be better than a good gift, and even surpass it. The gracious man offers both good words and good gifts. On the other hand, the fool is both ungracious and insulting. People do not look favorably on a grudging giver.

The fool (Prov 18:1-18:3)

“Whoever lives alone is self-indulgent.

He shows contempt for all who have sound judgment.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding.

He only wants to express his own personal opinion.

When wickedness comes,

Contempt comes also.

With dishonor comes disgrace.”

The fool does not take any pleasure in understanding. He only wants to hear his own personal opinion expressed to others. If you live alone, you are self-indulgent since you show contempt for any other person with a sound judgment other than your own. When wickedness comes, contempt comes with it. With dishonor comes disgrace. The fool seems to be a loner who is worried about his own opinions.