THE WEEK OF TRINITY I – MONDAY

LESSON: 2 CORINTHIANS 8:8-15

“There was a rich man … who feasted sumptuously every day.” Luke 16:19

When we measure this rich man by the fruits of faith, we shall find a heart and a tree of unbelief. The Gospel reproaches him for feasting sumptuously daily and for decking himself out in costly apparel. Reason does not regard such matters as especially great sins. It could even be that a man imbued with the idea of work-righteousness would regard all this as perfectly in order, imagining that he had deserved all this by his holy life, without any real conception of committing sin by such conduct because of his unbelief.

This rich man is not really reproached for his costly food and his splendid attire. Many holy men and women, king and queens in times past, have worn costly attired like Solomon, Esther, David, Daniel, and many others.

The rich man in this Gospel is reproached for setting his heart on these things—seeking, choosing, and clinging to them; finding all his joy, pleasure, and relish in them; and making idols of these things.

This is what Christ indicates with the expression “every day.” He lived in this glorious manner “every day.” He sought and chose this way of life deliberately. He was not forced to accept it by circumstance or because of his office. This way of life could not redound in any way to the welfare of his neighbor. He was simply concerned about fulfilling his own pleasure. He lived for himself and served no one but himself.

Herein we see the secret sin of his heart, his unbelief and lack of true faith manifesting itself in selfish, sinful, and wicked fruits.

SL 11:1196 (4)
AE 78:56

PRAYER: Open our eyes and hearts to the needs of our neighbor, heavenly Father, that our lives do not simply become a continuous exercise in self-interest and routines which promote nothing but ourselves, but keep our hearts open to receive Your love for service to our neighbor, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.