The self-indulgent person loves wealth because it enables him to live comfortably; the person full of self-esteem loves it because through it he can gain the esteem of others; the person who lacks faith loves it because, fearful of starvation, old age, disease, or exile, he can save it and hoard it. He puts his trust in wealth rather than in God, the Creator who provides for all creation, down to the least of living things.' - St. Maximos the Confessor
(Gospel Text: Lk 16:9-15)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon."
The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
"You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God."
Songwriter Bob Dylan, during the Christian phase of his long career, put it this way in a song: "You're gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody."
Whom will you serve? Which will you choose? God or mammon? The things of God or the things of this world?
This is the choice that is ever before us in a myriad of ways both large and small. And there is no sitting on the fence. If we hate one, we will love the other.