When I was a young girl my father often made the distinction of the difference between being rich and being wealthy. Today’s Gospel reminds me of what he told us. Our monetary wealth could not compare with our true riches. And our true riches were far more important and would serve us far better than monetary wealth.
The rich man in the Gospel is all about more, more, more for me, me , me while Jesus reminds us that all those things are passing and useless when it is time to meet our God. They are also somewhat useless in our daily lives if we allow them to be the purpose for living. Things are just that – things – and cannot replace caring human relationships.
Besides human relationships we have spiritual relationships. Our life, modeled on the cross, has both the vertical relationship between ourselves and God and the horizontal relationship between ourselves and others. True richness comes from deep vertical and horizontal relationships. While wealth may put me on Forbes’ list, being rich in what is important puts me in God’s book.
There is also the element of being detached from wealth. It is necessary to work and be responsible with finances. But the earning of money for its’ own sake is not being detached from it; rather it makes money the focus and that is not a good spiritual practice.
Jesus challenges each of us to work for what is lasting and not store up things for ourselves. What do we need to detach from and put at his service?
Copyright 2013 Deanna Bartalini