What About Our Riches?
We have heard it before in many ways; that what we acquire here on this earth cannot be taken with us into eternity which is our goal, eternal life with God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So what are we to make of the fact that it takes money to live on this earth? And is the money we make all to be given away to the poor, to the widows?
Is it wrong for me to drive a nice car or own a beautiful home or take a vacation? How am I to understand what God wants from me?
I think many of us have pondered these questions and I believe that most are challenged when we hear Jesus tell parables like the one of the rich man who has to give away everything to follow him, or as in the gospel today, the man who needed to tear down his barns and build larger buildings to store his wealth. We are warned not to gather riches in this world and still we need money to survive and to live well on this earth. Wouldn’t our God who loves us want us to be successful? Doesn’t God want us to provide for our families and care for ourselves? Is it
wrong to work so as to own property and have money in the bank? We work hard for what we have, should we not be proud of what we have accomplished?
I sincerely believe that God does not want us to deny what we need to survive and even what brings us joyful experience here on earth. I also believe that what we learn from the gospel is that we are called to share accumulated wealth with others which certainly includes family but also includes caring for those among us who are in need. What we are being warned about here is breaking the First Commandment; “Thou shalt not have other gods besides me.” In other words, loving God and God’s people MUST be a priority, must be more important than accumulating wealth. How important it is that we understand that to put wealth and accumulation of things including money, boats, cars, vacations, property above loving God and his people will not gain us eternal life. Perhaps, upon hearing the parables of Jesus proclaimed in Scripture, we could examine our lives, take an inventory to assess who and what we honor and love above all else; money and possessions or God, our family and God’s people? Jesus is warning against idolatry of wealth and possessions so that we do not lose that which is meant to bring us everlasting life. We gain eternity by loving God with our entire being and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Love ensures the richness of eternal life with God. Let us take time this week to assess and compare the effort we give to loving others with the effort we give to accumulating wealth and pray that God be with us as we find a balance that will not risk our eternal life with Him.
Blessings, Deb Rudolph