Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 16, A.D. 2005
Psalm 85:9, 11-14
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
On the surface, today’s gospel seems to be a little confusing and
contradictory. Was Jesus really against wealth and the wealthy? How could
this be when He had many close associates who had wealth and power and, fact
is this gospel was written by a tax collector, certainly a man of some wealth.
The truth is that Jesus had no problem with wealth. He regularly associated
with the rich as well as the poor. He dined with the wealthy and attended a
wedding hosted by a man with some means. What Jesus had an issue with was the
problems wealth can cause if we are not cautious.
Wealth has a habit of becoming an idol. It can and does require much in the
way of time and attention and can also provide a number of things that have
the potential of drawing us away from God, essentially becoming idols
themselves. In another gospel passage, Jesus tells us it is difficult to
serve two masters, God and money.
The problem with idols is they cannot deliver. They may make us feel secure,
protected and untouchable, but that is not the case. The same is true with
wealth or the things wealth can provide when we allow them to become idols in
our lives. We may think our riches give us security and protection, but that
is rarely the case. There are some things money just cannot buy.
Only God can provide us true security, protection and even eternal life.
Anything that draws us away from Him is an idol and only draws us away from
the truth. Jesus had no problem with money, only what money could become. He
did not say it was impossible for the rich to enter the Kingdom, only hard.
His warning is all the more true today and we must be vigilant that our
wealth does not bring us unreal security.
Don Claunch SFO
Lives of the saints:
Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Stephen of Hungary
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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