Tag Archives: Wealth

WEALTH MAY GIVE YOU DEATH OR LIFE

(Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Sunday, October 14, 2018

You may use wealth either to die or to live:
1. The wealth leading to death is the wealth that is not shared among all; it is the wealth a person keeps for himself beyond what is necessary for the satisfaction of his needs. It is the wealth a person cannot share with the poor. In brief, the wealth leading to death is that which is not used for the satisfaction of the needs of all.

If you don’t share it, you’ll die

To tell the rich man: “Go, sell what you have, and give it to the poor” (Mark 10:21) means “your” wealth belongs to those who need it. The wealth, which leads to death, therefore, is that which is accumulated in a few hands.
This wealth  becomes so desirable to the rich man, that he cannot live without it; it becomes an addiction; it generates a dependency almost impossible to depart from. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). This wealth indeed turns itself against the person who possesses it.

Sharing wealth gives you life

2. The Wealth leading to life goes beyond the possession of material goods. This wealth is used for the satisfaction of the needs of all. If the rich man had sold his possessions and given them to the poor, he would have ended his deadly wealth and taken over the wealth of life.
The wealth of life consists in the caring and harmonious relationships between people. This wealth does not take possession over anybody; on the contrary, it allows them to live to the fullest as members of a united humanity.
When, in order to acquire the wealth of life, we give up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for the sake of life, we will receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands (Mark 10:29-30).

(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco)

JAMES AND CAPITALISM

(Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Sunday, September 30, 2018

The biblical texts cited here are from the Letter of James, chapter 5, verses 1-6. (We have used the word “capitalist” instead of the word “rich”)

Money of the laborer, taken by the capitalist

Who are the capitalists?: They are those whose ultimate purpose in life is the accumulation of wealth for their own selfish interests. For them, other human beings are but mere “tools” to make wealth.
How are the capitalists identified: They  are identified by the manner in which they acquire wealth, and by the manner in which they use it.
I. The manner in which they acquire wealth. They acquire wealth by withholding the wages from the laborers who work in their factories … and the cries of the laborers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts (James 5:4).
II. The manner in which they use their accumulated wealth. The capitalists use wealth in two ways:

Dispossessed laborer

1) They use it only for themselves: “You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter” (James 5:5).
2) They use it as a means of domination: “You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance” (James 5:6).

(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco)