Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us to approach wealth with wisdom. Let me quote a sermon of St. John Chrysostom on the right approach to money:
“Those who love money are fierce in the pursuit of it, like wild animals pursuing their prey. They betray, cheat, or exploit their closest friend when there is gold and silver to be gained. They learn to make their consciences as numb as fingers on a cold day. Their eyes become blind to the suffering they cause, and their ears deaf to the cries of those whose lives are ruined by them.”
Those are strong words, and they shook the people at the time who heard them. And they shake us today. But can you hear that he’s speaking in the tones of Jesus? What’s the ground of all this for John Chrysostom? Why does he say it? It’s very clear. Because everything we have—our bodies, our life, our breath, our minds, our accomplishments, and, yes, our wealth—is a sheer gift given to us by a generous God, and, therefore, it ought never to be hoarded for our own purposes but always used for God’s purposes.