The First Reading and Gospel today speak about money. We often hear it said Money is the root of all evil. This is a misquote from 1 Timothy 6:10 that says the love of money is the root of all evil. The Douay-Rheims translates it better saying the desire for money is the root of all evil. Money is neither good nor evil. It is good when used for good. And evil when it is used for evil or earned in dishonest means. Which is why Jesus said in the Gospel: You cannot serve God and wealth. The Greek is more descriptive: You are not able to slave for God and money. Being a slave means to be owned by someone. Jesus gives us a choice: do I want to be a slave of God where I will be free to live the life he has planned for me, or do I want to be a slave to money where every moment of my life is dedicated to pursuing it?
There is nothing wrong with finding work to earn money, in fact, Christians are expected to provide for the needs and some luxury for our family or to save for the future. But when we become slaves to money, then we worship it as an idol. Wisdom 14:27 tells us:For the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and end of all evil. When money becomes our god, when we become slaves of money, then the desire for money becomes excessive and it becomes evil.
St Paul shows us in the First Reading, that he has learned to live in abundance or in little. COVID 19 has affected everyone and we have reduced our expenses to what is essential because a lot of us have been affected financially. And when we are in a situation where our finances are affected, when we are having a hard time making ends meet, the First Reading tells us:My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus. The Psalm today tells us:Blessed are those who fear the Lord… Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid. Is it terrifying not to have a job with mouths to feed? Yes of course. In these situations, we hold on, not by will power, or by believing in ourselves. We hold on to what St Paul said in the First Reading: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We believe and trust in Jesus Christ who strengthens us.
Some may ask, what should I do then, if I have no job, or if I find it hard to make ends meet? The answer is Fear God. By fear, I do not mean being afraid of God. Sirach 2 gives a description of how it is to fear God: it is to stand in awe and wonder of God because when we stand in awe of God, we have confidence that nothing is impossible for God. This confidence leads us to trust him. This trust must have a corresponding action, since faith without action is dead. I propose these things to make visible our trust in God.
- Pray. Hebrews 4:16 tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and find grace in time of need. If this is your time of need, then come boldly to God because he is your Father, who cares for you and will provide for you. We find a job, or source of income, not because of our skills or experience or of the people we know. God is the source of our income and we remember this when we read Scripture or adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Today being the First Saturday, ask our Lady to help. Ask St Joseph to help because those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame.
- Discern how God wants you to see your situation. Ask God for wisdom to see your situation from God’s perspective. God may lead you to something you have not considered.
- Give some money. Discern where God wants you to give money and how much he wants you to give. One may ask I am finding it hard to make ends meet, and you ask me to give money? I am not asking you to give all your money. By giving away some of our money, we do an act of rebellion against the idol of money showing we will not let it control us because we trust in God. And God is faithful, we can never out do God in generosity.