In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus says, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Wow! How often do we lose sight of that? Way too often, I’m afraid. It makes me think of how people often identify themselves. I think the most common is in two ways. First, by our occupation, what we do. Second, by what we have. Where we live, what kind of car we drive, how much money we have in the bank, etc. These two errors are death traps. They will lead only to an endless cycle of accumulation.
One of the top movies of 1987 was Wall Street. Michael Douglas played Gordon Gekko, a high-powered wealthy Wall Street guy whose only goal was to get more money, power, glory, stuff – all the things the world tells us we must have. His signature line was, “Greed is good.” How wrong he was.
When greed steps into the picture, we will lose sight of who we are. When we wrap up our identity in the things we have, then we can never get enough. We will always be striving for more, never being satisfied with what we have, or who we are. So, if “one’s life does not consist of possessions,” then what does it consist of? The answer is, of course, being a child of God. If that, in and of itself, is not enough, then perhaps it is time for another check-up from the neck up.
Father, forgive us for those times when we allow greed into our lives. Help us to find our true identity in You. Amen.