What money can do
The story is told about two fleas that won first prize in the lotto. Guess what? They bought a dog!
If money can make a flea buy a dog, what more can money do to mortals like you and me?! In today’s Gospel (Lk. 4, 1-13), even the devil used money to tempt Jesus. Like Jesus, let us be strong in resisting the temptations that come along our way, especially our attachments to money, worldly powers and pleasures.
The evil one is right — money can do a lot, as in a lot of things. But what the evil one does not tell us is that money can undo us, our character, our very life and soul.
What has money done to you? Has your money made you proud and arrogant? Has money made you selfish and greedy? Has money made you so busy to the detriment of your health, your family, your relationships? Has money made you so comfortable in this world, so as to forget your life mission and final destination?
Money can give us false security, making us believe that everything and everyone can be bought, even eternity. Money can give us false identity, when we begin to think, and speak, and act like God because of our power and money.
Use your money for your salvation, not for your condemnation. On the final accounting before God, we will be asked if our money was good money—the result of hard and honest work, or dirty money—the result of dishonest, corrupt and criminal deeds.
We will be judged, too, on how much we shared our money and resources to others. Please broaden your concept of legacy beyond your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren! Make sure you leave something behind to the lost, the least and the last—to the many unknown, who do not even know you.
The elections are coming. Let not money become the be-all and the end-all factor in our choosing leaders. Let not dirty money coming from corruption, crimes, gambling and drugs destroy and imprison us as a country and as a people.
Please remember the three pillars of our Lenten observance: prayer, mortification and good deeds. Let us be guided accordingly. And let us do all these joyfully, gratefully and as far as possible, secretly.
“Kap” Romeo Palacpac, a dear family friend through the years, died suddenly on March 5, on the eve of his 72nd birthday. He was a simple fisherman who was able to raise and educate all his children by sheer hard and honest work. A joyful and helpful person who lived, and died fulfilled and happy, even without much money.
On his 80th birthday, Tong Payumo, said: “When we were young, we were surrounded by family and true friends; as we grow on, we had more school, work, social and business friends; and when we are old, again, it is the family and the true friends who will remain with us till the end, so let us treasure family and true, real friends.”
PAL pilot Capt. Nic Barrientos and wife Elva lost their only child, Nico, this year due to cancer. He was only 29 years old. No words are enough to describe their pain. But no words are enough, too, to describe their courage and their faith through it all. This is a couple that has not been corrupted by their abundant material blessings, but a couple who has remained focused on God as their Lord and Master. They grieve, yes, but the memory of their only son has strengthened their faith and their mission to continue to love and to live. There was also an Only Son who suffered and died for us, in whose memory, we continue to love and to live.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, deliver us from the temptation of putting our security and identity on money. Amen.