GOD AND MAMMON

Saturday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time           

            Jesus, in today’s gospel reading, speaks with frankness – saying: “No servant can serve two masters.” “You cannot serve God and mammon.” In taking this stand, Jesus is really only stating a law of human psychology: Nobody can concentrate on two objects at the same time. Whoever will concentrate his or her attention on an object will necessarily push back the rest into the background.

            This law applies more specifically to money. When the appetite, the hankering or the lust for money becomes the main or central focus of a person, others are put aside or pushed back, including God.

            Today’s gospel message is very timely. For it seems that most people are ‘serving’ not God but its rival: mammon, money or material wealth. Look at the way people regard money. See how they trust money. Money is regarded as the answer to all life’s problems. If you want convenience, comfort coziness, money will buy you the best car, the best house. If you want the best education (and right connection after), money will give you access to prestigious schools. If you want physical beauty (and right contours) money will lead you to the best cosmetic surgeon. And so, people work for money. They work to death to have more money.

            What is even worse is that they willing to do anything just for money: sacrifice their health, their family, their friendship… sacrifice the lives of others just to have more money. Many are willing to compromise their Christian values – set aside honesty, integrity, decency, fairness and justice, just to get advantage and more profits for themselves. Jesus is reminding these people – and us: “You cannot serve God and money.”

            We must not think that we are not addressed. All of us, in one way or another, are tempted by money. All of us are tempted to concentrate on money or material things, so much so that we push God back into the background. That is why Jesus’ reminder is also for us – very much so for us.

            Let us allow the Lord to open our ears, our minds and our hearts to his word, and allow it to challenge and disturb us, so as to change and renew us. Let us allow the Lord to transform our minds and hearts… that we may fix our eyes on him alone… and serve him with all of our being.

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