My Beloved the benevolent
Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing
We discussed two stories in the last letter: the Story of King Ahab who wanted to take Naboth the Jezreelite’s vineyard, and the other story was about the rich man whose ground yielded plentiful and did not think of his eternity, but was overtaken by worldly greed and said to himself, “Soul you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” (Lu. 12:18-19)
We would like to discuss today the importance of contentment and the danger of greed.
St. Paul the apostle told us, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim. 6:7-10) and St. Paul says, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1Tim6:6) Contentment happens when one is satisfied by what is vital and necessary for their life and St. Paul expressed this by saying, “And having food and clothing with these we shall be content.” And, he said, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well that you shared in my distress.” (Phil. 4:11-14)
A person has essential needs, and it is not sinful for a person to live a good and dignified life, however the problem is greed – the love of money and material things which makes a person chase after money and buy many things that they may not need, the love of owning. Our Lord Jesus tells us, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist of abundance of things he possesses.” (Lu.12:15) and He also said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21)
There are more important things in a person’s life other than money and collectibles. Greed leads to rivalries and losing peace. Gehazi wanted take something from Naaman the Syrian so he lost everything, he lost his discipleship to Elisha the prophet, he lost his health, received a curse, and became an example of greed for his lord Elisha told him, “ ‘Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever’, And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.” (2 Kings 5:27) Ahab wanted to take the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, so he lost everything and received punishment from God, he and his evil wife Jezebel. The love of money brought down Judas Iscariot, he lost everything despite his being one of the twelve disciples. Therefore, the Book of Proverbs says, “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.” (Prov. 17:1)
“Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” (Prov. 15:16-17)
The person who is greed in worldly matters is never satisfied, as the Book of Ecclesiastes says, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?” (Eccles. 5:10-11). “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.” (Eccles. 5:15-16)
Therefore, Christ commanded us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) One who is greedy is never comforted, but one who is content is joyful and gives to others as the Book of Proverbs says, “He covets greedily all day long, but the righteous gives and does not spare.” (Prov. 21:26)
May the Lord bless all your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity Programs and fill your hearts with peace.