The Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 6, verse 24 says, "You cannot serve God and money."
There’s a saying that you cannot have it both ways; you cannot be married and single at the same time; you must choose between one or the other if you want to fulfill your life's obligations properly.
In today’s scripture, the Lord says you cannot serve two masters for you will be devoted to one and despise the other. The two masters the Lord is referring to are God and money (or possessions) which he calls "mammon."
People who make money or possessions their god are not free.
They are controlled, not by the inner voice of conscience within, but by things outside of themselves.
You must never forget that you are more important than material possessions that decay and corrode and do not last. You have been chosen to follow a higher purpose, to lead a life where the beauty of character, the love of truth and the pursuit of justice for all is what defines a person, not what one possesses.
You cannot take your possessions with you when you die or, as they say, you never see a Brink’s truck following a funeral to the cemetery.
There is a story about a Texas billionaire who stipulated in his will that he wanted to be laid to rest in the newest Cadillac model, seated at the steering wheel wearing his Galveston hat, and with the most expensive cigar protruding from his mouth.
As the Cadillac is being lowered into the grave, one of his old friends remarks, admiringly, "Man, this is really living."
That’s an example of how silly it could get if money or possessions become your god.
The story about the Texas billionaire is not entirely far-fetched. Think about the Egyptian pharaohs! They tried to amass every sort of material possession in this life, and to take them with them into the afterlife — their bodies, their slaves, and their gold.
In their ignorance, they didn’t realize that their wealth and possessions would become the prized possessions of grave robbers.
Ernest Hemingway had an interesting custom of giving everything he accumulated each year away, for he did not want to be controlled by things. He wanted to be free in spirit to devote himself to art.
You have a greater gift than an artist’s craft. It is the gift of faith: the unmerited gift to appreciate God’s providence in your lives; to put your trust in Him who clothes the wild flowers of the field with greater splendor than even King Solomon in all his glory.
Your heavenly Father, Jesus reminds us, knows what you need; so do not worry. “Every hair on your head is numbered.”
If God is on your side, who can be against you?
Fr. Hugh Duffy holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hull, England. Born in Donegal, Ireland, he was ordained in 1966 in Dublin, Ireland. He is pastor emeritus of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Okeechobee, Florida, where he served for 30 years and built a new Church, debt-free, in 2013. He founded Christian Community Action (CCA) in Ireland that built housing for seniors, a sheltered workshop and bakery for people with disabilities, a community center, and an addiction treatment center. Since 2013 he has traveled across America as an Outreach Priest for Cross Catholic Outreach, Inc. Duffy’s recent book, “What is This Thing Called Faith?” is a collection of meditations with reflections for readers on the sayings of Jesus. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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