FRIDAY OF THE TWENTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
1 Timothy 6:2-12
Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Psalm 49:5-9, 16-19
Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life, there is no price one can give to God for it. For the ransom of life is costly, and can never suffice, that one should live on forever and never see the grave.
Do not be afraid when some become rich, when the wealth of their houses increases. For when they die they will carry nothing away; their wealth will not go down after them. Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy —for you are praised when you do well for yourself— they will go to the company of their ancestors, who will never again see the light.
Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
We have many valuable words in scripture today to think about. We are reminded that we bring nothing into the world and take nothing out. We think that more money will solve our problems, and surely, there are things that are solved with money if we are in need. But more and more money will not solve our problems. People who like to amass money do not even want to spend it, share it or enjoy it. They often end up just wanting to keep control with it. Our attitudes about wealth are really our attitudes about contentment which is something any one can possess if they choose.
We are too valuable to waste our lives desiring things. As the billionaire, Steve Jobs, said before his death at 56, “recognition and wealth is meaningless in the face of death. Whether we drive a $150,000 car or a $30,000 car, the road and the distance are the same and we reach the same destination. Whether the house in which we live is 100 or 1000 square meters, loneliness is the same. Whether you travel first class or economy class, if the plane crashes, you go down with it...”
Jobs wished that he had had more joy in his life. His advice: Love your family, spouse, children and friends... Treat them right. Cherish them. Happiness does not come from the material things of this world.
We will have a good conscience about our wealth if we provide for the work of God with our resources and, as the scriptures tell us, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”