Wednesday, November 7, 2018
No servant can serve two masters; for a servant will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money. The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So He 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 16:13-15
The lovers of money … the religious party, the Pharisees, a conservative voice in the time of Christ, a movement that called the people to the legalism of the past, a Jewish movement that had gained much power in the land … Christ notes that they were also lovers of money.
The accumulation of wealth comes with a cost. Wealth-gathering has its own rules and its own demands, its own priorities and its own values. Wealth-gathering entices with the delusion that once gained all will be well. Once wealthy one can then sleep in peace, one will be then satisfied and fulfilled, one will then have no worries or anxieties, one will then be free. But alas, it is a false promise … and once one has lived a life in service to the god of money, one can take stock of all that was lost in the process.
The sad foolishness of the Pharisees is in believing that the love of money and the love of God can co-exist in the life of holiness. They had come to believe that a holy life can be defined on one’s own terms of self-interest. As long as I do this ritual or that ritual, as long as I believe this doctrine or that doctrine, as long as I keep this rule or that rule of my own choice, as long as I do not commit this sin or that sin but neglect the sinfulness within my own life … then I can fill my own barns with more than enough while neglecting to share with those in need, I can be found to be living the holy life. But the holiness of the More Perfect Love is not found in such ways of a divided heart. The holy life is wholly devoted to the wishes and ways of God, wishes and ways that begin in a purity of heart.
To live humbly in the midst of the community, to live simply thus enabling generosity, to live in desire for the treasures of heaven and not those of the earth, this is to serve the Lord with total, undivided devotion.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz