WEALTH AND NEIGHBORS
Rom 16:3-9, 16, 22-27
Palms 145:2-3, 4-5, 10-11
In today’s Gospel Jesus told his disciples to use things of the world in order to make friends with neighbors and not the other way around. Jesus gives importance to our relationships with others. Wealth, for whatever worth they have, must be in the service of humanity. The choice is clear between God and mammon. God is whom we worship. Thus, God should get our full commitment and adoration. This is a very challenging situation and reality in the world of today. It is good to reflect upon what Jesus is challenging us in the reading of today.
Am I the one who would us my power, my influence and peoples around me in order to obtain great wealth? Or am I the one who would use everything at my disposal in order to establish good bonds with people surrounding me?
This is a very important question that can help us in our reflection upon our life especially about seeking for wealth and relationship with other people.
The Gospel of today does not mention anything bad about wealth or seeking for it. In fact, it is our responsibility to make our life, our society, our world better and better by working and improving our life. Working that makes us real sons and daughters of God is the divine duty given to us to improve and take care of the world he created for us. Therefore, we should not be lazy. We should work hard for the good of our own life and the family that have been given to us to be taken care of. Therefore, working does not make us slave but in reality, it frees us and makes us really human beings.
In whatever business we do, we need to make it fruitful and beneficial for the good of our life. Isn’t it reasonable for employers to seek profits, for workers to pursue better-paying jobs, and for consumers to get the most out of their spending money? There is nothing wrong in doing so but Jesus indicates this should not be the first question and objective, the first and the highest value in human life.
Wealth is very important and necessary in our lives but not the primordial values nor the first reason for our existence. We are created for something higher than worldly things and earthly values. We are created to be united with the one who created us and with our fellow men and women. We exist to seek and achieve our destination which is not material things but the Holiness and Beatification or oneness with God the Trinity as well as brothers and sisters.
Therefore materials things are means to help us to that final destination. If material thing hinders us reaching our final destination; it becomes sin. God entrusted to us what we have, as gifts from him for our good which should lead us to Him and others. Material wealth is a gift from God. Therefore we should not confuse the “GIFT” and the “GIVER”. We should not get lost in the gift and forget the Giver. We have to avoid the worldly attitude toward wealth.
Money has to remain means not taking the place of God. Money should serve us not the other way round. We serve God not money. Jesus did not say you cannot have God and money. He said you cannot serve God and money. Therefore, you can serve God with your money.
This is the main focus of the Gospel of today. We should not close our eyes to the needs of our brothers and sisters if we can still do something to them. God makes use of us and our wealth for the good of our neighbors and our society at large.
Loving and assisting our fellow human beings who are in need is nothing else than loving God. We cannot see God but we meet him in our brothers and sisters who bear his image and likeness.All this is about generosity. Generosity is about lifestyle. What step can you take today to honor God with your material wealth and riches as gifts from him?