"The attachment to riches is the beginning of all kinds of corruption, everywhere: personal corruption, corruption in business, even small commercial bribery, the kind that shortchanges you at the counter, political corruption, corruption in education ... Why? Because those who live attached to their own power, their own wealth, they believe they’re in heaven. They are closed; they have no horizon, no hope. Eventually they will have to leave everything."– Pope Francis
Gospel Text: (LK 12:13-21)
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God.”
In order not to become, or to remain, greedy we must know what it is exactly. What is “greed”, “covetousness”, “avarice”? Greed is an excessive love for, and seeking after, wealth and other earthly possessions. A greedy person strives for more riches than he requires and is never content. He clings to what he has and is stingy.Sacred Scripture is filled with many warnings, “There is not a more wicked thing than to love money: for such a one sells even his own soul.” “Take heed and guard yourselves from all covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Yes, greed is a capital sin, and being a capital sin that means it is at the root of many other sins and imperfections. From greed arise lying, cheating, and hard-heartedness towards the poor. And remember, greed was a sin of Judas. His love of money led to the betrayal of Our Lord for but thirty pieces of silver.
Unfortunately, no one is ever ready to admit that he is greedy. Everyone denies having so base and mean a heart.
I couldn’t possibly be equated to Judas. No, I’m not greedy, I go to Mass and give to charities; I couldn’t possibly possess such a hideous vice. Greed is for grumpy old misers, not for me.
One man excuses himself on the score that he has to take care of his children, and that prudence requires that he be a man of property. He never has too much. The greediest men not only deny that they are greedy, but even think in their conscious that they are not. Greed is a raging fever that makes itself all the harder to detect the more violent and burning it is.
If we are strongly attached to the goods we possess, set our heart on them, always have them in our thoughts, and fear losing them, then we are infected with greed; with covetousness. If we find our heart afflicted at the loss of property then we love it too much.