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True Wealth

 

This weekend’s readings remind us that our time in this world is limited. Consequently, the wealth, power and status we might acquire here have only passing value.

Our First Reading observes that most people spend most of their earthly lives on a “vanity of vanities”: restlessly working to accumulate material wealth only to pass most of it on to the next generation when they die. Jesus makes the same point in the Gospel with his parable of the rich man who has to build bigger barns in order to store his hoard of wealth. He’s sure he’ll have many years to enjoy it, but then suffers a sudden death. What’s worse is that he then has to face a spiritual reckoning for his lack of generosity to others. In our Second Reading, St. Paul advises: “Let your thoughts be on heavenly things… kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life… especially greed.” The moral of all of this is clear: enduring prosperity and security can only be found by investing in our relationship with God. Yet, how many of us really take this message to heart? Ask yourself this weekend: how much of your time do you spend working to earn money or worldly status compared to the amount of time you spend on your spiritual life? How much of your wealth do you keep for yourself and how much do you set aside for charity? If you had to draw up a balance sheet right now, are you spiritually rich or spiritually poor?

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