Thu, 16 September 2021
(1Tm.6:2-12; Ps.49:6-10,17-20,Mt.5:3; Lk.8:1-3)
“Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation, and a trap.”
Today we hear Paul’s famous words: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” They are oft-quoted, but how well are they understood and practiced in the avoidance of excessive possessions and inflated bank accounts. Paul tells us, verifiably so, that men “have come to grief amid great pain” because of their passion for money. And the pain is so much the greater if they had been men of faith, which stands so much in opposition to the things of this world.
One must be “content with a sufficiency,” Paul teaches us. “If we have food and clothing we have all that we need.” But how many are satisfied, grateful to God, for having their needs met? And how many rather thirst for ever-increasing wealth, in which they foolishly believe they shall find peace and comfort? Indeed, it is as an addiction, and blinds us to the providential hand of God and the humility we should have in His presence. Our psalm speaks pointedly and graphically of the vanity of those for whom “the abundance of their riches is their boast,” but who, when they die, “shall take none of it”: “He shall join the circle of his forebears, who shall never more see light.” Indeed, such trust in wealth leads invariably to hell.
“Then what should we do?” you may well ask. Let us turn to our gospel. It is brief and seemingly of little significance, but gives a concise picture of the life of the Lord and those who followed him. In it we hear that Jesus and the Twelve did what Paul exhorts his disciple Timothy to do (in his letter): “Preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.” This must be our concern. This must be our desire – to fulfill the will and the word of God in our lives. We must “fight the good fight of faith,” setting aside all preoccupation with the riches of this earth. And we shall be cared for even as the women who accompanied Jesus and His apostles “were assisting them out of their means.” They saw that the Lord and His disciples were clothed and fed. They cared out of love for their basic needs. And God will provide such as these to care for the needs of all who devote themselves to His work.
Let us never fall into the devil’s trap and temptation, as he attempts to distract us from the spiritual necessities God demands. Such a fall is mighty indeed. Trust in God’s hand and be satisfied with His call.
O LORD, you are the Most High God –
let us enter your House with praise!
YHWH, you are with us, always with us, dearest LORD, and you call us to be with you; you promise us peace in your holy Temple. And your Temple has come into our midst. He has suffered and died for our sakes and been raised on the third day. Now we must suffer with Him, we must do His work in this world, the work of building up His Temple… and soon we will come to dwell with Him in your eternal presence in your dwelling place.
O LORD, take away our mourning for what we do not have, for the lack of your glory among us. Let us remember that Jesus is the Messiah, that though we be surrounded by darkness this day, His light is with us leading us forth to your kingdom, which even now is indeed being built up in your Church, in all those who work in His Name. To greater glory bring us each day till your promise is fulfilled and we dwell in your presence forever.