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We have heard many times in our life the old adage that “money it the root of all evil.” Also, “money is the great Satan.” So if money innately possesses such negative properties why do we work and strive to gain what is seen in the eyes of the Church as evil? However, is this the really what the Lord taught about money?
In today’s Gospel we are presented with a dichotomy that affects all of us in the world. Genesis tells us that we have to till the earth for our living. What was once given to us has now become what we strive for by our labor. We work to acquire food, supplies, and pay for our living quarters. This is the reality that Adam and Eve have bequeath to us by their transgression again God’s Commandment.
As a result, we work in order to have sufficient resources to live and prosper. This does not mean that we become possessed and manipulated by the need for them. That is why you must “seek first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
On the other hand, we have people like Bernie Madoff who was so possessed with the love of money that he stole and manipulated people’s savings for his own gain. Once he put his plan into effect, if took on a life of this own. His ponzi scheme needed to be fed in order to function and devour the next investors. As you know, people lost millions of their hard earned money so that he could become richer. Money became his god, and as a result possessed him.
In today’s Gospel Christ says that you cannot serve two masters. That is why you have to seek the Kingdom first in order to realize the right and correct way of thinking. God or Mamon which one will you choose? In Syriac, Mamon is a word that means treasure or riches. So, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Moreover, the consequences are that the heart persuades the eye to search out what satisfies it. The quest for Mamon will be the only thing that gives a person meaning, but distorts the way the eye sees. Likewise, darkness in both the eye and the heart are a result. The worship and deification of money is a sickness that many have today because of the pressure that most are under to survive.
However, when it gets to a point that Mamon and not God are more important we become something that God did not create us to be. We cannot serve two masters as Bernie Madoff found out, but we can live as Christians looking all the time for His blessings and guidance along the path of life.
Finally, we should “cleanse the intensions of the heart from all duplicity,” and grow in spirit to see when we are getting too attached to our possessions, because then they possess us instead of we possessing them. So it is not money that is basically evil, but the LOVE of MONEY that is evil and corrupting. AMEN!