18th Sunday Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: July 31, 2022
What sin do you think I hear the most in the Confessional?
Which sin do I almost never hear? Greed! Is it because none of us are greedy? Is it possible that in Canada there is no greed? Is greed not a very serious sin?
Jesus is very clear in this gospel that greed is a sin to avoid. Someone in the crowd calls out to Jesus, “Tell my brother to share the family inheritance with me!” You can see that this family is about to break up due to this fight. Jesus says to the crowd, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed!” Greed is something very destructive.
If we look carefully we see that greed does incredible damage in our world. Greed destroys all sorts of relationships.
Greed can destroy our relationship with God. Only God is absolute and everything else should be second to God in our life. When we make anything else first then our relationship with God is harmed. God gets in the way of our greed, we often choose wealth or other things we want ahead of God.
Greed can destroy our relationship with creation. We human beings are damaging our planet, the environment in which we live. We realize we need to make changes in our economy, to limit our use of fossil fuels. But, politicians, businesses, and those of us living in the wealthier developed world, we resist doing much about it. Our excuse is that it may cost us. Greed prevents us from doing what we need to do in order to care for creation, to protect the environment in which we live.
Greed destroys the relationship between the rich and poor. It is the rich who find every way possible to influence politicians in order to reduce taxes for them while also reducing the care provided for those most in need in our society. The rich use every way possible to hide their money, off shore tax havens, to avoid paying taxes. Greed leads to a great division between the rich and poor.
Greed is often the underlying source of corruption within politics and institutions. The motivation of so much corruption in our world is greed, the desire to get more and have more and control more. Politics should be a way to work for the common good within society, instead it becomes a path to private wealth. Greed divides people within a society.
Greed destroys relationships. How many families, like that person in the gospel, are damaged, divided, fighting over an inheritance? How many marriages are broken by the greed of one spouse or both spouses. So focused on getting more that they forget about what really matters in their relationship. How many friendships have been lost because of the greed of one or the other?
Next time that you examine yourself for what sins are in your life, examine yourself for greed. Are there any relationships in your life being destroyed or harmed by greed? Your relationship with God, with creation, with your fellow human beings, within your family, with your friends?
What are you clinging to, what are you afraid of losing?
At the end of our life, what will really matter? Greed takes away our freedom, greed can blind us to how we are wasting our time and life on things that will not matter at all in the end. Greed is a sin that destroys all sorts of relationships.