Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Ezekiel 28:1-10; Matthew 19: 23-30)
What do you give to the person who has everything? A gilded telephone? a silk facemask? There will always be a new luxury to acquire. The prophets chastised conspicuous consumption. It not only ignored the needs of the poor; it also gave a priority of things to God. In today’s Scriptures both Ezekiel and Jesus criticize the accumulation of wealth.
Ezekiel sets his sight on the prince of Tyre. The man has accumulated countless riches but has not heeded the Lord of Israel. The prophet predicts he will have a hard fall at the hands of the Assyrian invaders. Jesus, likewise, foresees a bitter outcome for those who make money their treasure. He says that they cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Money itself is not evil. Indeed, it enables us to live and work without back-breaking effort. Pursuit of money while forgetting to honor God and assist our neighbor, however, can cause our undoing. We may think that we are increasing our stature, but in truth we are preparing our ruin. The proper stance toward money is always gratitude to God for having received it and generosity toward the needy for having witnessed their suffering.