Today's Gospel reading tells us that Jesus, according to his habit, was educating people through parables. Someone came and asked Jesus a favor by saying, "Teacher, tell my brother to give me my share of the inheritance left by our father," Jesus turned and answered. "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" Then, as we read in the Gospel, Jesus turned to the people and said: “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” After this, he also told a parable. The content of the parable was as follows. A rich man had many fields and received an abundant harvest from his field. He thought about what he could do to secure the crops and thought to himself.” I will build large granaries, and then I will say to myself: "O man, since you have accumulated wealth over many years, now you can rest, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself." But God said to him: "Foolish man, tonight your soul will be taken from you, and then what will be left of what you have prepared?"
I can talk about many topics through this parable, but I decided to speak about two of them. The first one is about life. A short word with a big meaning. What is life for Christians? How we should live it. It’s no doubt that all of us are free to live our lives as we want. But even in that “freedom,” there are boundaries that we can’t pass. The life we are living now is the greatest gift from God, and we should be grateful to Him. For Christians, life is a journey that starts with our birth and ends with our death. Between these two, we must fill that gap, living a life according to the Christian values. During the past five years, I heard people say life has no meaning. I always explained it in the following way, first we must have God in our hearts; everything starts from there. Life is a white poster, and we must paint it. It depends on us how we paint it, and how many colors we use it. It is essential to use the color of Christianity, which is living a life according to Christian principles and values.
After having a certain idea about life, let's move on to the next point, which is Greed.
Greedy people are always unaccepted by most people. But what is greed, and who is greedy? Greed is a kind of illness that always makes the person want more and not be satisfied with what he has. In other words, to have something and keep it for themselves. Greed can also be called a mental illness in the sense that the greedy are afraid that when they give or share what they have, they will be left vulnerable, homeless, needy, and scared that others will surpass them. But why do they think so? Because God is not in them. There is no room for God in their heart, only for material things. A genuine Christian, following the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ, shares what he has with others. But be careful not to confuse the greedy with the frugal. A frugal man is one who, having mastered his passions and human instincts, carefully examines his environment, time, and abilities, and if he notices that his desire is inappropriate and its realization is impossible or improper and harmful, he immediately forgets it and tries to be satisfied with what he has, motivated by a good purpose, to prepare better and to fulfill that desire at a more favorable moment, which will be advantageous both for himself and for those around him.
What we have it belongs to us till our death; after our death, it’s not ours. I’m sure you have heard the story of Alexander the Great. Before his death, he said, “I want my hands to swing in the wind so that people understand that we come to this world empty-handed and leave this world empty-handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted, and that is TIME.” So, if we have, let’s give it, and God will provide us with double if we give it wholeheartedly.
Based on the idea of greed, I would like to share a short story about greed.
"In the old days, a greedy man lived in the mountains. Whatever he sees, he wants it to be his, and he could never get enough. Once, a squirrel was caught in his trap. It was not an ordinary squirrel but a silver-haired squirrel. The man happily catches him and wants to kill him. Suddenly, the squirrel speaks like a human and says:
- Don't kill me; free me instead, and I will give you as much silver as you want.
- He replies by saying: - As much as my heart desires? Then, make it so that whatever I catch immediately turns into silver, and only I can take that silver. Then I will release you.
- The squirrel replies. - Let it be as you wish.
The greedy man grabs the trap, and it turns into silver. Then, he sets the squirrel free and rushes home. He arrives at his home, puts his hand on the door, and the door turns silver. He goes inside and takes a glass of water to drink, and the glass turns silver. He takes off his shoes and sees that the shoes have also turned silver. Even the carpet on the floor turns silver because his hands touched it. The greedy man goes crazy with his wealth. He starts running around the house, touching everything, then in the yard. After running around, making everything silver, he gets tired and hungry. But whatever food he touches turns to silver. He takes a bowl full of rice, and the bowl and the rice, and even the sticks to eat the rice with, turn silver.
- I can't bear it, he thought, but then again, look what wealth I have. Now, everyone will be jealous.
And there were indeed jealous people. But it didn’t last long. Everyone noticed that the fat man was starting to lose weight. He was getting angrier day by day. And thus, the greedy man, sleeping on his cold, hard silver bed, freezes and starves to death.
Therefore, I will end my sermon by repeating, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” but by faith in God, by which you are blessed, now and always and forever and ever Amen.