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Grace & wealth

February 28th, 2011 by isaac · 1 Comment

A sermon from Sunday on Jesus’ teaching about money in Matthew 6.

Excerpt:

In our passage from Matthew, Jesus singles out a force in this world that threatens to snatch us from being children of grace. “No one can serve two masters,” Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matt 6:24). What is it about wealth—about money, about possessions—that Jesus finds so threatening to our faith? Apparently there’s something uniquely tempting about wealth that pulls us away from God, that seduces us into a way of life that operates outside of God’s grace. I think it’s that wealth keeps us from growing in our dependency on God; we convince ourselves that we deserve the money we’ve earned, and that we can do with it what we want, because we worked hard for it, harder than those who beg for their daily bread.

For the rest of it, follow this link: Grace and Wealth.

Tags: sermons

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Johannes // Mar 3, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Great questions that all demand further clarificaton and exploration. You might enjoy reading this essay:

    http://www.communio-icr.com/articles/PDF/schindlerdc36-3.pdf .

    It’s written by D.C. Schindler, a Catholic philosopher at Villanova University. He conducts his analysis from a more philosophical than theological perspective, but it’s very relevant to your questions. I’m especially interested in his observation that money is not inherently bad, but that our enjoyment of possessing it can easily become an end in itself. Money is good to the extent that it corresponds to concrete goods (food, shelter, medicine, etc.). However, it can easily become dissociated from those goods and become an end in itself. In the American financial system, wealth is not primarily used to acquire goods, but as a resource that can be leveraged to create more wealth.

    I think that wealth is a good thing to the extent that it supports and sustains us to lead lives that serve God. But, once one acquires money, it is all too easy to begin serving wealth instead of God. Lots of other goods are naturally self-limiting. For instance, we can only eat so much, drink so much, have so much sex. Certainly we can overindulge in these things, but we can never hope to have an infinite amount of any of these goods. Wealth, on the other hand, can always grow larger. One’s bank account is not limited by one’s finitude and mortality, so we begin seeking infinity in wealth rather than in God.