A reading from the gospel according to Luke 16:9-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
9 “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
10 The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.
11 If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?
12 If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?
13 No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him.
15 And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
Reflection: God and money
Some people think that having tons of money can make them happier. So they develop intense desire to earn a lot of money no matter what. Even if they already became rich, they still want more. In the process, their behavior change. They have less time for family and friends. Worse, they neglect their spiritual growth. They became too focused on accumulating wealth that it became their only purpose for living. In other words, they have made money their god.
Saint Paul tells us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Let’s read that again – it’s the love of money, not money itself which causes many people to fall, to fail and falter. Obviously, the scripture does not condemn money. God knows we need it for our survival in our earthly journey. We need money for the operation of our institutional church. In other words, it is not at all bad to aspire for material wealth.
Yet our behavior towards money can bring us to or away from eternal life. Indeed the love of money becomes the root cause of unhappiness. Husband and wife quarrel and separate because of money. Brothers and sisters fight each other for the right to inherit a bigger amount from their parents. Individuals are sent to jail due to embezzlement. The list goes on.
If only we make God our priority, all other things become less important. We cannot afford to have two priorities. Only one is needed. We know from experience that only God can give us long lasting happiness; money cannot do that. We also know that God is generous to His children. He provides all our needs if we put our full trust in Him. Thus there is absolutely no need to chase the pot of gold somewhere. God is worth more than a mountain of gold.
St. Matthew tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the things we need will be given to us (Matthew 6:33). Let us put our hope in that promise, not in material wealth.