Once upon a time, I found the references in the Bible to a “rich man” — and in particular in Jesus’ parables of the Rich Fool in Luke 12, and of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 somewhat off-putting, and in more recent years also for the faithful with whom I have been conversing in Bible study.

After all, many Americans describe themselves using phrases such as “middle income,” “middle class,” or more recently, “under-served,” never rich per se. Perhaps the parables conditioned “we the people,” who, among our most fundamental principles, consider ourselves to have been created “equal.”