READINGS for 2009-11-07
GoD AND moNEy
“You cannot serve God and mammon.” – Luke 16:13
This is one of the Bible verses that lead people to abhor money. After all, “you cannot serve both God and money,” right?
But observe that it originally says God and mammon — not money per se. Mammon is a false god, the god of riches and avarice. That false god you definitely shouldn’t serve. Mammon also refers to greed and materialism. Those things you should not fall into.
But money in itself is neutral. Yes, it has the danger to make you greedy and make you slide into materialism. That’s where you have to be very careful — by checking on your heart, your intentions and your self-control. But money also has the potential to be used for good — for the building of God’s
Kingdom! Money is needed to build churches and places of worship. Money can be used to feed the hungry and help the poor. Money is essential to sustain your family with their basic needs. So money in itself is not evil.
Of course, you can’t serve God and money.
Make money your god and you’re doomed.
But use money to help others — and you give glory to God!Alvin Barcelona
Do you abhor money itself? Why? Do you want to have more money? Why?
Dear Lord, purify my thoughts on money so that I can receive more blessings and be more of a blessing to others. Amen.
Paul concludes his letter with numerous greetings probably to affirm to the Church leaders in Rome that he does have knowledge of the Church in Rome, even though he has never been there before. All the names except Stachys are Latin names indicating how quickly the Gospel has reached into the heart of the Roman Empire. This reach is also indicated in the desire of Paul expressed at the beginning of the letter that he intends to use Rome as a base from which to go to Spain.
Romans 16:3-9. 16. 22-27
3 Brothers and sisters: Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I am grateful but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5 greet also the church at their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the firstfruits in Asia for Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. 22 I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus greet you. 24 25 Now to him who can strengthen you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages 26 but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith, 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen.
P S A L M
Psalm 145:2-3. 4-5. 10-11
R: I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
2 Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. (R) 4 Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might. 5 They speak of the splendour of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works. (R) 10 Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. 11 Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might. (R)
G O S P E L
Money is very seductive. It plays a necessary part in our secular lives and even certain aspects of our spiritual lives. The challenge for us is to see that we do not get controlled by money but remain in control of it. This is one reason why we should try to avoid debt if at all possible. It is also important that we realize that money very quickly gains a life of its own if we do not take care to keep it in its place. As Jesus tells us, we cannot become the servants of both God and money.
9 Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. 11 If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? 12 If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,who will give you what is yours? 13 No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. 15 And he said to them,“You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
think: The challenge for us is to see that we do not get controlled by money but remain in control of it.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Jeremiah 15-18
mOney, mOney, mOney
These are the words from the chorus of one of the songs of the Swedish singing sensation of the 1970s, Abba. Another line of the song goes something like this, “And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me …” I think we have all probably experienced this reality at one time or another. Money can be a great servant for us; but it will be a lousy master if we do not control our desire for it. I have seen how the lust for money and all the benefits it can bring causes the downfall of many people, who, had they been content with what they had, would still be living well today. However, once the lust for money takes over, everything in one’s life comes under its spell and disaster is but a short step away.
There is much talk about what a reasonable standard of living is in today’s world. When there is talk of such, most people will think that it is reasonable to suggest that an overseas trip every few years is a reasonable expectation. What percentage of the world’s population can travel overseas every few years? I do not think that even one percent of the world’s population has traveled beyond their national border. Therefore, to put such a desire under the heading of an expected reality every few years is not reasonable. These may seem overly harsh words but when you consider that a significant portion of the world’s population struggles to put food on their tables daily, how easy will it be to justify spending thousands of dollars every year just on travel for pleasure or entertainment or even keeping up with the latest developments in technology such as Ipods and computers, etcetera? We need to reflect a little more carefully upon our spending practices, especially if we give little moneyfor the benefit of thepoor. The Scriptures are very clear about our responsibility to care for the poor. I hope we heed this aspect of the Word of God. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
How can I better care for the poor by the way I live my life and the time and resources I devote to their care?
Holy Spirit, awaken in me a greater empathy for the poor that will inspire me to devote my time and resources to helping them. Conversely, help me to ensure that I never do anything that will worsen their plight.
St. Herculanus, Bishop and Martyr, pray for us.
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