Readings for Monday October 20, 2008
First Reading: Ephesians 2:1-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 100
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
It seems as though in these tough economic times, the political arena is capitalizing on the economic crisis. Our political leaders have been quick to point the finger at wall street and its greed. It seems as though greed is the root cause of our tough economic crisis, and in some ways I would agree with that statement. I do believe that greed has been a major factor in why our economy has been experiencing the turmoil that it is facing. I do not, however, believe that the greed that brought us to this point belongs solely to one group. I think the greed that has brought us to this point has come from power hungry politicians, money hungry lenders, and possession hungry, materialistic people. Unfortunately the greed that we see today comes from everywhere, and we ourselves are guilty of it at times. We tend to get very confused about the things that we need versus the things that we want. In this confusion we tend to lose focus of what God has planned for us and how He wants us to be good stewards of our money and our possessions.
Jesus warns us against greed today. He warns us to; "Take care of guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions." (Lk 12:15) I think that when we think about this, it helps us to put things into perspective. If possessions are not the most important thing, then why do we work so hard to "keep up with the Joneses?" It is really because we have our priorities mixed up. We do not put God first, and we rarely put what God wants for us ahead of what we want for us. At the end of the parable in today's gospel Jesus leaves us with this final thought; "Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God." Let us not be greedy with our money, our things, and ourselves. Let us use the gifts that God blesses us with to glorify Him. Let us give of ourselves to our Lord and saviour who seeks to not give us perishable things that will be of no use to us when we pass away, but seeks to give us life.
His plan for us is to have life, and to be dead no more. in the first reading today, Paul tells us that we are God's handiwork, "created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them." God has an amazing plan for you and for me, but we must be willing to cooperate with that plan and let the Holy Spirit work in us. Greed is an awful thing that will only take us away from Christ and His love for us. Greed is part of the works of the flesh, which do not lead us closer to Christ. Instead of letting greed flourish in our hearts, we should instead let the fruits of the Spirit flourish in our lives: love, joy, peace, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we let these fruits come alive in us, then we will not have to worry about a "crisis" or "turmoil" when the time of judgement comes.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day, which we offer up to you for your glory. We ask for your forgiveness for the times in our lives that we sought to be selfish and store up worldly treasures for us, instead of what matters to you. Lord, we pray for the strength to detach ourselves from the things of this world, and to only take the things that we need. Lord, let us be content and find joy in all that you bless us with. Lord, we pray for all those who are putting their faith in material possessions instead of you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.