BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.


‘You cannot serve God and mammon’

Some people think that having money is wrong. But the Bible never says that. What it actually says is that ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10). It is not the accumulation of money that is the problem, it is the love we have for it. In continuation of yesterday’s Gospel, the passage of today (Luke 16:9-15) stresses the need to be faithful in the management of earthly goods entrusted to us while recognising the supreme place of God.

Jesus said: ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.’ He was basically saying that we can’t love God and love worldly things at the same time. God wants our whole heart. He doesn’t want to have a part of our love, while we give love to other things too. Jesus went on to teach that the greatest commandment is to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ (Matthew 22:37).

In this world, we can be ruled by a lot of things but there are only two choices: God and material possessions. It’s always so easy to get preoccupied with other material things that we sometimes forget that God, our supreme love, is the ultimate meaning of our lives. Jesus claims that our hearts must be filled with God’s love, or else we will be filled with the love for something else (which is not right because the only love we actually need is His). It’s time to reflect on our actions and think carefully if we actually put God first because only then will we really find peace and love. The gospel teaches us that we just shouldn’t be part time Christians, but we should work as His servants, we should be faithful and always ready to serve, not just Him but also our brothers and sisters.

“Wealth” can be understood literally, but it can also be given a metaphorical meaning. It can stand for anything that distracts us from the service of God; anything that may have become a substitute for God; anything that seduces us away from God’s love.

If we are being honest, many of us don’t love God with undivided heart. Other things take pieces of our heart. Maybe it is our relationships with others, our career, our hobbies, or our finances. While they are all important parts of our lives, loving God wholeheartedly means we don’t allow ourselves to be distracted and preoccupied by those things; instead we are fully devoted to God. In order to do this, we need to protect our hearts from being taken over with love for other things. In Proverbs we are told: ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’ (4:23). If love for God is filling our hearts, everything else will fall into place. We will use our money well, we will have great relationships, and we will move forwards in life.

Wealth is for sharing, in Jesus’ view. It is to be used to make friends with the poor, to bring in those who are marginalised. If each of us reached out today to someone less fortunate than ourselves, the world would be a better place tomorrow. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. We pray for peace in Nigeria. Good morning. Happy Weekend.

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