Saint for the day: Lorenzo Ruiz & Companions (1600 – September 29 or 30, 1627
1 Timothy 6:2c-12 – Psalm 49 – Luke 8:1-3
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Today’s Alleluia Verse.)
Most people love to ‘misquote’ this phrase from I Timothy and say, “money is the root of all evil” when, in fact the real quote should be, “love of money is the root of all evil. Otherwise today’s Gospel about the women who followed Jesus and “provided for Him out of their own resources” would be contradicting I Timothy.
Also, in this fist reading, Paul paraphrases his listing of the results of not being led by the HS which he mentions in Galatians, 5: including envy, rivalries, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction. I have often pointed out the ‘attributes’ of the HS (love, joy, peace, patience, etc.) as a good measure of how we are doing in our efforts to honestly follow Jesus.
In today’s Gospel Luke tells us that there were many women who followed Jesus and “provided for his needs out of their own resources.” So we should be able to see the thin line which separates – being able to provide for ones needs from a greedy ‘love of money.’
This is not an easy principle to follow as most of us ‘professional religious’ know full well. What do I actually need in order to survive in this world? I’m not called to give away all my clothes and go and sit naked on a cliff waiting for the ‘second coming’ and expecting someone else to take care of me.
I’m sure that there were many people that Jesus encountered on his travels that were poor and destitute yet He told his disciples to “go and rent an upper room and set it up for our ‘last supper.’” Maybe we would be like Judas and say, “why don’t we give this money to the poor rather than spend it on ourselves?”
Bottom line: it’s not how much money we have or spend but, rather, whether or not what we are spending is being spent out of charity and not selfishness.
The question of how we relate to our “vow of poverty’ has been with Religious Orders from the beginning and will probably stay with us to the end. In the beginning St. Dominic travelled everywhere on foot. Today, the Master of the Order flies all over the world to make his visitations. We don’t have to look closely to figure out how much money it will cost the Western Province to ‘host’ an hopefully Future visit. But, on the other hand, he can’t travel on foot so the money is spent. We are called to provide for his needs and this we do lovingly in order to sustain our oneness in the Order. Amen!