Throughout time, people have struggled with greed and hoarding. Plato said that the one with many needs is poor; the one with few needs is rich. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn cautioned that we prove our greatness not by the number of our possessions but by the grandeur of our actions. In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus, likewise, admonishes us against being greedy.
Each of us, rich or poor, can be infected by greed. We are greedy when we pursue a “more-is-better” lifestyle and hold a “must-have-it-now” mentality. We are greedy when we accumulate more than we need and hoard our time, talent, and treasure. It is not how much we have, but our attitude toward what we have.
We are in danger if we confuse possessions with true human worth, or if we confuse security with happiness. Our true worth cannot be measured in dollars, stock certificates, or insurance policies, but rather in the way we live our lives as sons and daughters of the generous, open-handed Giver of Life.
May our Eucharist lead us to differentiate between our needs and our wants and to share our lives more openly with others. Then we will be rich in all that really counts.
— Wanda Conway
Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17
Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11