Poverty, as exampled by many Saints, is not the only path of holiness. On the Gospel reading (Luke 16:1-13) tells us how a person can be affluent and holy at the same time — as exampled by other Saints.
If we recognize that our possessions are gifts from God that are meant to enhance his kingdom, we are holy. But if we cling to money and material wealth as if they are meant only for our own benefit, we’ve divided ourselves from God, because God’s Word emphasizes the importance of distributing to others a generous portion of everything we’ve received.
When acquiring wealth is a higher priority than distributing what we already have, God is not our master. This is true not only with material goods, but with everything else that is good, too.
We are all richly blessed one way or another: How readily to do use your riches for the benefit of others?
The “dishonest wealth” of which Jesus speaks is anything that “belongs to another”. When we use other people’s money (for example, taking out a loan from the bank) to our own advantage, we are not being trustworthy stewards unless it also glorifies the kingdom of God (for example, a bank loan for a house mortgage is good because it serves the family, but only as long as it doesn’t require so much income that a bigger house means little time for the children.)
Likewise, if we misuse time by catering to selfish desires at the expense of those who need our attention, we are untrustworthy in the kingdom of God. Jesus wants to bless people through you. He has called you to be a distributor of his gifts. If we ignore this primary principle of God’s economy, Jesus says, “Who will give you what is yours?”
What is ours, if we’re trustworthy enough to be good stewards, are riches that will remain with us for all of eternity: the wealth of the spirit, the approval and praise of God, the fullness of love, etc.
To be holy with affluence, we have to first be trustworthy with the love that belongs to others — the love that God feels for them. Our trust-ability is found in the sharing of our temporal (earthly) goods as well as eternal goods (faith, wisdom, hope, etc.).
© 2016 by Terry A. Modica