Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man (Ἅνθρωπε), who set me to be a judge or partitioner/divider (μεριστὴν) over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed (ἀπὸ πάσης πλεονεξίας); for one’s life (ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ) does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (Lk 12: 13-15)

Our “possessions,“ or that which we’ve acquired as a result of our position and/or work in this world, – be this money, or a certain social or professional standing, – may sometimes drive a wedge between us and those closest to us, in our most important relationships (i.e., with someone who is “my brother“). But the Lord reminds us, in this passage, that our life does not consist in the abundance of our “possessions“ or conquests, in our broader world. Because it is in the relationships with those closest to us, whom we love, and by whom we are loved, regardless of our “possessions,“ that our “life“ really consists. Even if we do not always “like“ one another, and tend to argue, as family-members often do. So the Lord refuses to be a “partitioner“ or mediator between us, in relationships that can and should be resolved by a “mediator“ they have already been given by God, which is love.

So let me set my priorities straight today, when I have a conflict with my closest people, in matters that involve “my“ possessions, in my broader society. Let me let go of “my“ preoccupations, and take a step back, that I may maintain something far more life-giving, and life-sustaining, than my “possessions,“ which is the love I have not acquired, but am simply given, in my closest relationships. Let me embrace “right being,“ rather than “being right,“ that I may maintain the “life“ I already have, in the irrational reality of love.