Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(I Timothy 6:2c-12; Luke 8:1-3)
A cartoon shows a fat corporate executive describing a recent business decision. “It was a matter,” he says, “of either losing a friend or losing money.” No doubt is left as to which of the two the tycoon values more.
However, the New Testament repeatedly indicates that money makes a lousy friend. In Luke’s gospel Jesus often warns against the accumulation of wealth. Still, as today’s passage indicates, he and his disciples had needs which the women’s money met. Perhaps Scripture is nowhere more wary of money than in the first reading. We should note, however, that First Timothy does not condemn money itself as the root of evil but “the love of money.”
Should charities accept money from patently sinful sources? Much good can be done with so-called tainted money, but then virtue’s kissing vice leaves many people morally bewildered. Scandal must be avoided, but at times thieves make reparation for their crimes by privately reciprocating institutions that care for the needy.