“In secret you teach me wisdom” (Psalm 51.6)

A man died and left his inheritance to his two sons.
One of them took everything for himself
and left his brother empty handed.
Not only that, but he started following Jesus as if he was a faithful disciple.
The other, obviously exasperated at the actions of his brother,
one day approached Jesus and put forward his claim,
“Good Master, tell my brother to give me my share of the inheritance.”

He was expecting, I suppose,
that Jesus would back him up.
Jesus did not!
As usual, He went straight into the real problem,
the love of money that is the root of all evil!
“Who made me judge over these trivialities?!
Both of you are in the wrong…”

Yes, both of them are in the wrong
Because both of them think
that bliss, existence, contentment
comes from the quantity of money they have.
If one is able to rob his brother…
If the other is able to indict his brother publicly…
both are doing it because they are both living the same lie :
money money money means happiness happiness happiness.

This is a big big big lie.
Money is like sea water:
the more you drink, the thirstier you become.
The more a man has, the more he wants.
Instead of its filling a vacuum, it creates one.

Money has the penchant to become THE master of your life.
Instead of remaining an unpretentious servant,
it gradually takes up your mind, your time, your sentiments.

Above all, it robs your heart effortlessly.
It closes your eyes to the poor Lazarus who is next to you.
The parable of the man dressed in purple robes eating fine food
is a fine image of all of us.
I fail to notice the others…
the rich man did not even see Lazarus!
He did not want to give him because giving to the other
meant decreasing from his own.
And no one likes having less!

All of us know this –
where money is concerned,
there are no friends,
there are no brothers and sisters.
How many families split up because of problems of inheritance!
In order to acquire more…
in order to take what is my due…
in order to get that promotion…
so many of us were ready to trample underfoot
all those who were competing with us.

This is myopia of money:
it forces us to look at others
as competitors,
people who want to take something away from me

The other does not remain a brother any more
but becomes my rival.

So Jesus Christ tells me calmly:
‘Go sell what you have, give it to the poor
and you will have a treasure in heaven’.
Giving to the poor will make you rich in front of God.
You will thus acquire friends in heaven.
Friends who will welcome you when it is time to go up there!

God gave us money to serve others.

This is a choice I have to make all the time:
I can either continue to reason in the way of the world
whose foundation stone is money,
Or I can start reasoning like Jesus Christ
whose keystone
is full trust in the Father
and full love towards others.

“No one who loves money ever has enough,
no one who loves luxury has any income;
this too is futile.
Where goods abound, parasites abound;
Where is the owner’s profit, apart from feasting his eyes?
The labourer’s sleep is sweet, whether he has eaten little or much,
But the surfeit of the rich will not let him sleep at all.” (Ecclesiasticus 5)


 

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.