25th Sunday

Do you want to become rich? Do you want wealth, prosperity and abundance?

Most people today set their eyes on these things. And we are not lacking in books, counselors, preachers and others who want to guide people to achieve their heart’s desires.

But why is it that so many people are not yet rich in spite of their desire and striving? Of course there are many factors to consider. But the Lord gives us much needed guidelines for true riches.

Jesus reminds us in the midst of our aspirations: make friends for yourself with earthly wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwelling.

Becoming rich starts with an attitude. Riches do not last forever. Now they’re here, tomorrow, gone. And riches have a purpose. They are not the purpose of our lives. They are means to be used to attain eternal life. And we must therefore use them well. What are the attitudes of the truly rich?

The truly rich use their resources to be friends with others. Some people in becoming rich also become alienated from others. They avoid people. They begin to separate themselves from the rest, only choosing their companions.

The truly rich are ready to help others in their need. What is the real purpose of wealth? God wants it to be shared, to be distributed. If you begin hoarding only for yourself, then you can be sure, it is not God’s plan for anyone to be selfish.

You must be willing to share. But how do your share? What do you share? A token, a little, your surplus? Is that what the poor need from you? Is that what the community deserves? Is that the sacrifice you will offer to God? God who is generous in giving you graces wants to see you also generous in returning your blessings to others and using it to praise His name.

If you are to be truly rich, you must know your priorities. You cannot serve two masters. Even the wealthy must recognize that God is above all material riches. Thus, you must acknowledge your riches as blessings that come from the Lord. If they are blessings, it means that they flow from a source beyond you and you must set your heart on that source, not on the blessings received. Riches must bring people closer to the Lord.

On earth, God wants us to be rich or to have a decent life. But to become rich, we must prepare our minds and hearts. It demands a change of attitude, a renewal of the mind and willingness to be led by God Himself.

Are we ready to receive earthly riches so as to achieve eternal riches in heaven?