YEAR A: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 29TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: BE RICH IF YOU CAN, BUT ABJURE AVARICE
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: ROMANS 4:20-25, PSALM LK. 1, LUKE 12:13-21
AVARICE, one of the seven deadly sins is the excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain; it is insatiable greed for riches; the inordinate and miserly desire to gain wealth. It is cupidity – the extremely strong and inordinate desire to hoard and keep wealth. Avarice, my dearly beloved brothers and sisters in Christ is sickness and the avaricious are most certainly in need of help. This is true because they live within their circle and view life with limited lens. To these, life begins and ends with them and happiness comprises in the perpetual accumulation of wealth. These in most cases, do not concern themselves with the plight of others; after all, they are made men and women, independent, so to speak.
DID CHRIST CONDEMN WEALTH? Jesus Christ my dearly beloved never condemned wealth or its acquisition. In fact scripture is clear about the acquisition of wealth. Yeshua, the author of the Wisdom of Ben Sira (Sirach) says wealth is good where there is no sin (Sirach 13:24). Wealth is good to help man live a dignified life hence making efforts to acquire and store wealth is not evil at all. What is evil however is the inordinate crave for wealth; the ‘I want more money, no matter what is involved tendency’. What is evil is hoarding and keeping wealth at the expense of the neighbour next door. What is evil, is accumulating without regard for the common good of the generality of peoples. What is evil is not allowing the Spirit of Christ influence our acquisition, possession and expending of wealth. What is evil and should be avoided is AVARICE.
QUICK REMINDERS: The word of God in Job 1:21, Ecclesiastes 5:14 and 1 Timothy 6:7 allude to the fact that we came into the world with nothing and we’d go out of it with nothing. As the soul came, so is it supposed to return to the Father in heaven unstained by the world. Francis Bacon, the inspirational writer once opinionated: “If money is not your servant, it will be your master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, rather, wealth possess him.” Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, “wealth is not appropriate for the mean-spirited and gold is of no use to misers…To whom will they be generous when they are stingy with themselves and do not enjoy what is their own?” (Sirach 14:3&5).
For Jesus therefore, it is better if we used worldly wealth to make friends for ourselves now so that come the end of time, we’d be welcomed in eternity (Lk. 16:9). He would rather we sell our possessions and give to the poor providing purses for ourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where our treasures are, there our hearts will be also (Lk 12:33-34). And how best can we do this if not through charity; charity to those truly deserving: our domestic staff, the aged, poor widows/widowers, victims of war, violence, terrorism, natural disasters, etc.
To those eating, drinking, making merry and as if that’s not enough, making life very miserable for others, I say it’s alright. Yet, you may want to remember what the Ecclesiastes 1:2 says: “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” You may also want to remember how the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31 ended – Lazarus in glory and the Rich Man in agony.
God bless all who are rich but still very kind, humble and selfless. God increase their wealth so they could touch more lives. Amen…
God pardon the greedy and make them FEED AND EDUCATE the poor around them.
May this week be nice…