For the Love of Money

Beloved:
Teach and urge these things.
Whoever teaches something different
and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the religious teaching
is conceited, understanding nothing,
and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.
From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions,
and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds,
who are deprived of the truth,
supposing religion to be a means of gain.
Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world,
just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it.
If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.
Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap
and into many foolish and harmful desires,
which plunge them into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is the root of all evils,
and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith
and have pierced themselves with many pains.

But you, man of God, avoid all this.
Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion,
faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life,
to which you were called when you made the noble confession
in the presence of many witnesses.
(1 Timothy 6:2-12)

Scripture Study

6:3-10 Paul resumes his criticism of false teachers wreaking havoc in Ephesus (1:3–11). He contends that the driving force behind their novelties is pride, an infatuation with controversy, and a distorted view of leadership. Not only that, but they exact a price for their preaching in order to accumulate wealth for themselves (6:10; Tit 1:11).

6:7 nothing into the world: Recalls similar statements in Job 1:21 and Eccles 5:15.

6:10 the love of money: Paul reproves, not the wealthy, but lovers of wealth. So dangerous is the allurement of riches that he warns in the strongest possible terms against piling it up for ourselves. Unless we become “poor in spirit” (Mt 5:3), the downward pull of money and material possessions will eventually lead to destruction (Lk 12:15–21). ● What evils are caused by wealth! There are frauds, robberies, miseries, enmities, contentions, battles. Take away the love of money, and you put an end to war, conflict, enmity, strife, and contention (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Timothy 7).

6:12 the noble confession: Probably Timothy’s profession of faith enunciated at his Baptism. Paul is urging him to live out his baptismal promises to the full (CCC 2145).

Scripture Reflection

“The love of money is the root of all evils”

All those in the world, including Christians, are aware of the harmful effects of greed. St Paul uses this memorable phrase to get at the false teachers: the root cause of all their errors is their greed for possessions. It is clearly a perverted thing to do to turn godliness, religion, into a way of making money. Those who try to satisfy this ambition will end up unhappy and wretched.

It hurts a person of faith in Christ to see that some use the technique of speaking about the Cross of Christ only so as to climb and obtain promotion. Good teachers, on the contrary, are content with food and a roof over their head. They embrace “the spirit of poverty and charity that is the glory and witness of the Church of Christ” (Gaudium et spes).

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

 

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