Monday, October 22, 2018
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed Him. So Jesus said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God. – Luke 16:14-15
The Pharisees ridiculed Jesus … seemingly because they were “lovers of money”. But were not the Pharisees the lovers of the Law? Were not the Pharisees the ones who preached if they nation would repent the Messiah would come and save them? Were not the Pharisees those who sought to separate themselves from the sinful ways of this world? And yet, Luke characterizes them as “lovers of money” and in so being …they ridiculed the seemingly unrealistic teachings of Christ and His ethic of the compassionate community.
What does it matter if they were “lovers of money”? If money is a priority than matters of spirituality and community become a lesser priority. If money is the measure of one’s worth, then other measures are disregarded. If money is the deciding factor in determining what is right or wrong, good or bad, wise or foolish, worthwhile or not worthwhile, then money has gained more influence than God. If the love of money is center and forefront, then God is moved to the side and background.
The love of money creates an obsession with materialism, always thinking that more money is the answer to our spiritual and communal lacking. The love of money creates a world of haves and have-nots, the haves fearful of losing what they have, the have-nots envying what they have-not. The love of money awakens the demon of greed, giving it license to flourish and to consume more than our providential share.
So many times when I have taught those teachings of Christ that seem unrealistic and naïve, impractical and non-profitable … they are ridiculed by those who are deeply immersed in a materialistic world-view. It is as if the love of money has near-blinded us from the world of spirituality.
In America, on our money we engrave the words, “IN GOD WE TRUST”. I find that a rather odd place to make that statement of faith. It almost as if God and the money were somehow one and the same.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz