Wealth confers powers we are not morally ready to receive.

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Golden coinsIn this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus encounters a rich young man who wants to inherit eternal life. (Interesting way of putting it.) Jesus tells him to obey the moral law. The rich man professes that he has always done so.

Jesus, lovingly, tells him that to be perfect, he must give away his wealth. And the young man is shocked and leaves, unable to do so.

It isn’t the wealth per se that is the problem, at least when you read the rest of the scriptures, it’s the danger that the wealth posses to our souls. Wealth gives us the power to do things that we would not otherwise have. And we rarely use that power well. In truth, we use that power in ways that unthinkingly harm others.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...