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March 4, 2019: Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Sirach 17:20-24
Gospel Mark 10:17-27

“How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!”

Why is it hard “for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God”? The Church does not teach that human wealth is evil in and of itself. Some mistakenly think that Scripture says that money is the root of all evil. But the correct quote from Saint Paul is that “the love of money is the root of all evils” [1 Timothy 6:10]. Nonetheless, that begs the question: what is it about the love of money that tempts the wealthy away from the Kingdom of God?

The Church teaches that pride is chief among the seven “capital sins”. The “love of money” must directly relate to pride. In fact, human wealth is a burden and a responsibility. Wealth tempts the wealthy person to sin against both God and neighbor: against the former because the wealthy person is tempted to feel no need for God; against the latter because the wealthy person is tempted to feel superior to the neighbor who has less human wealth.

But wealth is an opportunity for the wealthy person to love God by imitating His beneficence, and to love one’s neighbor by prudently using one’s wealth for their good. In both of these, man is called to share in and reflect the super-abundance of God’s generosity to others.