Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit in the heading I gave to this reflection, but I am not totally in jest! With riches or wealth comes great responsibility. We cannot pretend to think that we deserve riches and wealth no matter how hard we might have worked for it without giving credence to the fact that without God’s blessing we would be as poor as the poorest person we know! Everything, down to the last scrap of clothing we own to cover our nakedness is a gift from God to us. The question any rich person must ask themselves is, “What is God’s will for the riches He has given to me? How am I supposed to use this wealth in the service of those who have so little?” These questions and the answers to them take on greater significance the more there is a great disparity in the way wealth is distributed in the place where you live.

For the Jews wealth is a direct sign of one’s holiness and God’s subsequent blessing. Jesus debunks this view quite clearly when he challenges the notion that the rich will find an easy path to heaven. Each of us must ask ourselves what this means for our own response to God. I am not saying that it is wrong to be rich, far from it. I am saying that wealth brings with it enormous responsibility to the point that in many cases it may well be better to dispose of the wealth in a good way and live simply rather than risk the seductions and sin that often quickly follow wealth.

The critical point of our earthly pilgrimage is to develop a faith and trust relationship with God. The primary problem with wealth is that it always threatens to become the master and not the servant of our lives. If it can be kept in control there is no problem and it is quite all right to enjoy the benefits of wealth provided such enjoyments do not create a scandal in relation to comparative lifestyles. I recently read about a wedding that cost $50 million. There is no way that this can be justified when there is the level of suffering that still exists in the world today. It is simply sinful in terms of selfishness and ostentation in the first place, not to mention all the rest.

How do I use the resources I have at my disposal to build the Kingdom of God? Do I need to make changes in this area of my life? If so, what am I going to do?

Holy Spirit, help me to learn to trust more in the providence of God for without this trust I am never going to know the gift of salvation in all its fullness.