Greed, the Opposite of Grace

CHARISM: an extraordinary power given to a Christian by the Holy Spirit for the good of the church.

Abraham was rich.   Genesis 13:2 refers to him as exceedingly rich.   He was Bill Gates rich.  And yet Abraham had the habit of letting go.  God tells Abraham to leave Ur and like the Jesus’ apostles’ leaves his home behind.   God asks Abraham, “Kill your only son.”  Okay, God.  Nephew Lot covets the best land and Abraham lets it go.

The farmer (cf. Luke 12:13-21) was also rich.   Like Solomon, his motto was, “Eat, Drink and be Merry.”  Unfortunately, he forgot Solomon most important conclusion, “Fear, God and keep His commandments.”

Greed is the opposite of Grace.

However, wealth is a charism.   Like most spiritual gifts, there is a temptation attached to it.    Without the spiritual gift of wealth,  Jesus said, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”   The Apostle Paul adds, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (cf. I Timothy 6:9).

That’s why Jesus serves a warning to the jealous brother who didn’t get as much as the other brother in the inheritance (cf. Luke 12:13,  “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”)  Perhaps their dad had a good idea of each son’s spiritual graces?

When you start building your own kingdom, you know you’ve left the kingdom of God.  Perhaps God had been asking and asking the rich farmer, “It’s time to sell everything and go where I want you to go.”    The farmer says, “No God, I am good. I have had enough of fighting God’s battles.  In my retirement years, I am living for me.”

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”




Author: gbradepp

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