CLARITY OF JESUS
One of the most obvious features in Jesus’ preaching is the clarity with which he knows how to unmask the alienating and dehumanizing power that is tied up in wealth.
Jesus’ vision isn’t that of a moralist who is concerned with knowing how we acquire our goods and how we use them. The danger of those who go about enjoying their wealth is forgetting their condition as children of a God who is Father and brother of all.
It’s here that the cry of warning arises: «You can’t serve God and Money». We can’t be faithful to our Father God who seeks justice, solidarity, and fraternity for all, and at the same time live hanging onto our goods and riches.
Money can give power, fame, prestige, security, well-being… but to the extent it enslaves a person, it closes that person to God our Father, it makes us forget our condition of brother and sister, and it brings us to breaking solidarity with others. God can’t reign in the life of one who is dominated by money.
The deep root of all this is that riches awaken in us the insatiable desire to always have more. And then there grows in a person the need to accumulate, capitalize, and always possess more and more. Jesus considers the life of such land-owners in Palestine to be a true craziness, people who are obsessed with storing their harvests in ever larger barns ever. It’s foolishness to dedicate your best energies and efforts to acquire and accumulate riches.
When at the end God comes to the rich man to take his life, it becomes evident that he has wasted it. His life lacks content and worth. «Fool…. So it is when someone stores up treasure for himself instead of becoming rich in the sight of God».
One day Christian thought will discover with clarity that today we don’t have the deep contradiction that there is between the spirit that animates capitalism and the one that animates the project of life desired by Jesus. This contradiction doesn’t get resolved either with the profession of faith of those who live with capitalistic spirit or with all the bequests they can make with their profits.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf