“Teacher,” someone addresses Jesus in tomorrow’s gospel reading, “tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” Jesus replies with one of his parables about wealth and worth, and we’re left wondering what sorts of inheritance are most valuable.
My parents have made a beautiful home for themselves over the years, but it’s not their home that I will inherit. When they pass on, I suspect the house will be sold and the possessions divided. The things that surrounded them will be distributed between family and friends, but that won’t be our inheritance. My inheritance will be the treasury of experiences that have passed between us – childhood vacations and road trips between semesters at college, phone calls and handwritten notes. The things that make me, me.
Rich and poor are given the same number of hours each day, the same number of minutes of sunlight. What inheritance will you leave behind, and who will receive it? God speaks to the rich man in Jesus’ parable, “you fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.