On September 22nd, we celebrated the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
From the Readings we heard God’s voice calling each of us to strive for Heaven above everything else.
Striving for Heaven requires us to get our priorities in the right order.Fair to say, we all have certain priorities in life. For some people, money is a top priority.
Of course, money represents roof over our heads, food on our dinner tables, our medical and utility bills, our college tuition and a decent living. Yes, money is needed to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless, to dress the naked, to educate the less privileged, to treat the addicted and those with mental illness, to comfort the sick, the elderly and the physically challenged, and many other good causes money can do.
That said, money can be a trap. It is called GREED. Money can make us feel so safe and secure in this present life that we even forget about that which is more important – HEAVEN.
It is sad to say that when people become obsessed with money, bad things tend to happen.
Take for instance our First Reading (Amos 8: 4-7). In the time of the Prophet Amos, about 750 years before Christ, the nation of Israel was enjoying great prosperity, but as the rich became richer, the poor became poorer. Cheating and exploitation of the poor was the order of the day. Prophet Amos was not afraid to remind those who were exploiting the poor that God was not pleased.
The Gospel Reading (Lk 16:1-13) tells us of a similar situation of a greedy and dishonest steward who was stealing from his master’s wealth to enrich himself.
It is no wonder St. Paul describes love of money as the ‘root of all evil’ (1 Tim 6:10)
How often do people commit terrible crimes for money? People murder for money. People engage in criminal and immoral activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, pornography, prostitution, robbery, all for money. Like the old adage goes: “God made man, man made money, money made man mad!
This is why Jesus’s teaching is very relevant: “you cannot serve both God and money”. By this teaching, Jesus is cautioning each of us to use money wisely, and not letting it become our master.
St Paul in the Second Reading (1Tim 2:1-8) reminds us that whatever we do with our personal lives should be devoted to please God, and not for selfish desires.
Bottom line, money plays a vital role in our wellbeing, but isn’t everything. Heaven is far worthier. So, let us strive for HEAVEN above everything else. AMEN.