Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:33
There are many things that bother the life of man; there are various needs the individual seeks to meet in life. Social pressures from the immediate family and the need to meet personal needs make finances a very crucial part of man’s life. Besides the financial needs of man, he is bothered about many things in life and most times, all his efforts are channelled towards meeting these needs. This defines the efforts of man as he struggles to meet all these needs. It is not bad for man to make efforts to meet his needs, even the scriptures encourages hard work (he who does not work let him not eat. (2 Thess. 3:10) However, if we are not too careful in the struggle to make ends meet and to solve our problems, we may end up offending God. In situations like this, we may end up getting what we seek, but the happiness that should come from it will elude us because, we have lost connection with the source of true happiness —God.
Have you ever wondered why “Joy” is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Have you ever considered momentary happiness and how incomplete it is when compared with inner joy and fulfilment? The differences lie in the source and seat of the two. Wealth and material things can make one happy but it does not guarantee fulfilment. The joy that the Holy Spirit gives is not temporal like the happiness wealth can offer, it endures. It is fulfilment in itself. Of what essence will existence be if in the end one loses heaven? Indeed “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Mk. 8:36, Mt. 16:26, Lk. 9:25). “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and every other thing shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33) is not an invitation to laziness neither is it a call to develop an indifferent attitude towards work. It is rather an invitation to keep heaven in view in whatever we do; we should never lose sight of the ultimate price and happiness that await us in heaven. We should work for our daily bread (Ps. 128:2), not neglecting the welfare of our souls. There is the tendency to be carried away in the course of fighting for our material wellbeing and that is why Jesus did not mince words when He highlighted how hard it will be for a rich man to make heaven. (Mk. 10:25) If the Christian is not careful the blessing granted him by God through material riches will become the point of his downfall.
Inasmuch as the Christian should strive to eat his daily bread, it
should not be to the neglect of his spiritual welfare. The Christian is expected to work hard and at the same time, maintain a healthy spiritual life. No more, no less. This is the test of authentic Christianity since virtue lies in the middle. Even in the effort to eke a living, the question should be, “does this promote the longing for the kingdom of God? Does this help me to be righteous?”
The following are suggested to help the Christian develop a healthy attitude towards wealth:
The Christian must be meaningfully engaged in a work or business that is legal and that has no criminal implication.
There should be no fraudulent intentions; taking advantage of others’ innocence or ignorance.
Do not sell your soul to the devil simply because you want to make it financially.
How much have you sought heaven using your God-given wealth? Be benevolent to others because He has blessed you so that you will be a blessing to others.
Be sure not to use your wealth in the oppression of the poor and the lowly.
Invest in the works of God.
Mal 4:1-2a; Ps 98: 5-6. 7. 9abc; (R.9cd); 2 Thess. 3: 7-12; Accl Lk 21:28; Lk21:5-19
THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME C
1. Lord thank You for the gift of hands to work; the gift of a head to think and the gift of a soul to seek You.
2. Forgive the many times I have become too desperate and willing to do anything just to solve my needs.
3. I am sorry for the many times I have lost sight of You in seeking solutions to my needs.
4. Grant me the rare graces of riches and holiness.
5. Lead me to a better understanding of You and service to humanity with all You have blessed me with. Amen!!!
Exercise: Evaluate yourself and know how desperate you can be to solve your financial or other needs.
Memory Verse: 1 Kings 3:13