Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment;for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Saint Paul tells us the love of money is the root of all evils, that it leads to many harmful desires and then to ruin and destruction.
Saint Ignatius, in his Meditation on the Two Standards, says Satan’s strategy is usually to tempt us first to desire riches and after that empty honors, which lead us eventually to pride and so to all the vices. By riches Ignatius means not just money, but possessing in ourselves the wherewithal to do whatever we need or want to do.
But we are essentially poor, utterly dependent on God for our lives, our minds and hearts and wills, our talents, our daily bread, our very selves. Which way of life are we choosing: endless desire for things that do not really enrich us or poverty of spirit that recognizes everything we have as a gift, and as so a reason for constant gratitude?
—Fr. Peter Fennessy, S.J. is a retreat director and spiritual counselor at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
How do you, Lord, look at me?
What do you feel in your heart for me?
—John Eagan, S.J. in Hearts on Fire, ed. Michael Harter, S.J., © Loyola Press.A Jesuit Ministry, 2004Please share the Good Word with your friends!