The book of Amos warns that God would punish the people for their selfishness and obsession with becoming rich. A few chapters before the reading we heard today, Amos proclaims; “Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”
Jesus also took up the topic of being obsessed with the accumulation of wealth, particularly when others were in such great need. Jesus warns us that we need to be “whole-heartedly” devoted to God and if we divide our heart between God and money we will lose out in the end.
Now the reality is that we all have to be concerned with making a living and providing for ourselves and our families. But how much is enough? At what point does “making a living” becomes focused on “getting rich” and then begins to take over all our time and thoughts and becomes the only measure of the success in our lives?
Being rich is not a sin...it is what we do or don’t do with what we have that can be sinful. Keeping God at the center of our lives will help us decide how to use what we have and with whom to share our wealth. It seems the Gospel is calling us to reflect on our relationship with our “stuff” and our relationship with God and our relationships with others.
How much of my “stuff” really matters to me? Would I feel freer if I had less stuff? When was the last time I talked to God about how I share my time, money and talent with others, especially the poor, the underprivileged, the underrepresented, the marginalized, the immigrant and the refugee? These are the people whom Jesus reached out to, and calls us, his disciples to do the same.