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Monday, October 23, 2006

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St. John of Capistrano

Ephesians 2:1-10
Psalm 100
Luke 12:13-21

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savings account

"Then I will say to myself: You have blessings in reserve for years to come. Relax! Eat heartily, drink well. Enjoy yourself. But God said to him, 'You fool!' " —Luke 12:19-20

Jesus said: "Avoid greed in all its forms" (Lk 12:15). Then Jesus called a man a "fool" because he was storing up his harvest to provide a "reserve for years to come" (see Lk 12:17-20).

It seems Jesus is opposed to savings and considers it a form of greed. This comes as a shock to us who were brought up with the idea that saving our money was a good, even virtuous, thing to do. Yet savings accounts, pensions, retirement funds, and even social security are more cultural than Christian.

In the Old Testament, Joseph saved for the seven-year famine (Gn 41:35-36), and we are told to imitate the ants who save up for winter (Prv 6:6-8). However, savings is not the main point of these passages, and they are superseded and fulfilled by the New Testament.

If we are to obey God's word, it seems we must stop or at least severely curtail saving money, and live on a day-to-day basis (see Mt 6:33-34). This will immediately free up substantial amounts of money to feed the starving who won't live till tomorrow if we don't help them today.

Prayer:  Father, may I believe that You're a real Father Who will provide my bread on a daily basis (Mt 6:11).

Promise:  "We are truly His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance." —Eph 2:10

Praise:  St. John of Capistrano gave up the "good life" of material wealth and embraced the "God life" of austerity and penance by fighting religious apathy and confusion in the years after the plague and wars.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2006

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