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Jesus has a very clear vision concerning money. The summary of which is a short and blunt phrase: «You cannot serve God and Money». It’s impossible. The God who passionately seeks a more dignified and just life for the poor can’t reign in someone who goes about dominated by money.

But it doesn’t just stay in this general principle. With his life and his word he pushes to teach the rich of Galilee and the poor workers in the villages what is the most human way of «accumulating».

In reality, not everyone could end up with a treasure. Only the rich of Sepphoris and Tiberias could accumulate coins of gold and silver. This treasure was called «mammon», this is, money that «is secure» or that «gives security». In the villages such coins of great value didn’t circulate. Some workers end up with a few coins of bronze or copper, but the majority went about exchanging products or services in a regime of pure subsistence.

Jesus explains that there are two ways of «accumulating». Some try to accumulate more and more «mammon»”; they don’t think about the needy; they don’t give alms to anyone: their only obsession is to hoard more and more. There’s another way of «accumulating» that’s radically different. It doesn’t consist in accumulating coins, but in sharing goods with the poor in order to «have a treasure in heaven», that is, before God.

Only this treasure is secure and remains intact in God’s heart. The earthly treasures, as much as we call them «mammon», are worn out, don’t give security and are always threatened. That’s why Jesus shouts out a warning. Be careful with money, since «where your treasure is, there is your heart». Money draws our heart and seduces us because it gives power, security, honor, and well-being: we will live enslaved by the desire of always having more.

On the contrary, if we help the needy we’ll go about being enriched before God; and the Father of the poor attracts us toward a life of more solidarity. Though we live in the midst of a society that has its heart placed in money, it’s possible to live in a way that’s more austere and more shared.


José Antonio Pagola

 Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf

Publicado en www.gruposdejesus.com

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