I don’t want to be like the rich man, but I am. Instead of barns, I’ve dreamt of a larger pantry, a bigger home. I come from a place of privilege. Some of the things I have, I need. Most of them, I don’t.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with stuff. St. Ignatius reminds us that all things of this world are gifts of God. Yet, the First Principle and Foundation (paraphrased by David Fleming), goes on to caution us, “if any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth toward our goal.”

Which gifts contribute to my further development as a loving person, fully alive?

Is anything displacing God as the goal of my life?

My quest to accumulate material goods, achievements, status, and friends, has, at times, become my primary goal. This parable challenges me to make space for what matters truly matters to me, which is also what matters to God.

—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division; she serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House and the Advisory Board of Jesuit Connections.