Jesus shows us the way to serve God absolutely and not money ever. Do we Christians, and Vincentians besides, really learn from him?
Jesus does not love money. He is not all like those who sneer at him on hearing him say, “You cannot serve both God and wealth.” Although he is a teacher, he feels more at home with the poor than with those who seat on the chair of Moses.
In fact, Jesus himself is poor, coming from a lowly family (see F.J. Sáez de Maturana, S.C.). He is among those people in the country who “hardly get hold of bronze or copper coin, of little value.” Meanwhile, those with capital and the big landholders can accumulate gold and silver coins. That is how these assure themselves of well-being, looking out only for their interests
And Jesus is against such inequality. That is why he warns us that we cannot serve both God and wealth. Any more than a servant can serve two masters. In other words, we should worship God and serve him alone. We cannot allow any idol, in the form of wealth often, to take God’s place.
Jesus’ warning is his way of denouncing—as did the prophet Amos—the wealthy who amass wealth unjustly. It is, moreover, his way of speaking out against the well-off who, seeing a brother in need close their hearts to him (see also Amos 6, 4-7).
Jesus gives us an example to follow, so that we may worship God and serve him alone.
No, Jesus cannot bear what almost always happens in times of economic prosperity: the rich get richer, the poor poorer. For example, even while working in Herod Antipas’ big projects in Sepphoris and Tiberias, carpenters and stonemasons still live from hand to mouth.
So, Jesus, without attachment to possessions, having even nowhere to rest his head, freely proclaims God’s kingdom and righteousness. He puts nothing ahead of this kingdom and righteousness. He wholly loves God above all. Of course, Jesus loves his neighbor as himself, most especially those who are in the outskirts.
Undoubtedly, this is the Jesus that Vincent de Paul follows. He follows Jesus, so he surrenders himself to God, renounces himself and goes to serve the poor (SV.EN III:384). He learns from this Jesus also to be a clever and inventive child of light. For he uses wealth wisely for the glory of God and the welfare of the needy. Vincent is, then, the light of the world. His light so shines before others that they see his good works and glorify God.
Is Vincent’s Jesus our Jesus, too?
Lord Jesus, we receive from you the Eucharist because of your infinitely inventive love (SV.EN XI:131). Make us truly share in your love. You are our one Mediator before God. May we always worship and serve God alone through you and in union with the Holy Spirit.
22 September 2019
25th Sunday in O.T. (C)
Amos 8, 4-7; 1 Tim 2, 1-8; Lk 16, 1-13
27 September 2019 – Solemnity of St. Vincent de Paul