Tuesday 18 August 2020

Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Word for Today
The Gospel of Matthew 19,23-30

Riches

The kingdom of heaven the Gospel refers to is both the realm of the afterlife, the celestial place where all is light, the eternal life after our earthly journey as well as the way in which God moves, thinks plans, works, and loves and which Jesus taught about us in the Gospel. The kingdom of heaven is, depending on the context, both paradise in heaven and the way of living on this earth that Jesus proposes to us through His procedures: a way of living that is totally the antithesis of the way life is conceived of and lived here on earth. In this context, Jesus affirms - using no uncertain terms - that being rich goes against the kingdom of heaven in both cases. Being rich prevents life from being lived according to the indications laid out by the Gospel and closes the doors of heaven. But how can riches, money, possessions have so much power as to shatter the earthly way of the Gospel and the celestial way towards paradise?
Money does not have this power and cannot have this power because money does not have any power and that is the real problem, that is the gigantic deception about money. Money in itself has no power, it has been given power by us and we continue to give it power. We have given to money, and consequently to riches, a power that in reality they do not have and this is illogical, foolish, dangerous, absurd and the cause of autodestruction. This process is an act of stupid idolatry and its first consequence is that of setting off inevitable and total conditioning of the human mind which gradually takes away power and importance from the realities that do have power and importance, substituting them with virtual, unreal, ephemeral, energyless, simulations. Once this perverse mechanism is set off, it progresses until it reaches the point of no return when money autonomously autoreferences itself over human dignity, nature and life itself in a totally paranoid, schizophrenic way in the name of the market and interests.
When as a result of running after money one loses the energy of health, who will give it back? When as a consequence of running after money relationships fall apart, what will give them energy, force and unity again? When as a result of running after money the energy of the earth is abused and the water, oceans, forests and air are polluted, how can harmony be restored? With money? But money does not have the energy to do it. Giving power to something that does not have it over time renders unknown and estranged that which really has power, God, for example, who is thus crossed off like a child's fairy tale or the ramblings of the mentally retarded. In this way we have estranged God and the celestial realities, we have become separated from ourselves and creation. But the problem is even greater: when those very people who have entrusted themselves to a reality without power are in danger they are convinced that riches and money will be able to help them which, of course, they cannot. And those people will not be able to raise their voices to the One who can do anything because idolatry will have made God into something like a wornout lie, an illusion, an enemy.  Success is achieved when people are convinced that we cannot live without money. In truth we can begin to live real life only when money no longer has all this power and is worth nothing.
What will remain of politics without money, medicine, culture, social systems, the powerful, today's armies? Nothing, nothing will remain. That is why Jesus affirms many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.  What will happen to many who consider themselves the first because of their money and power, when money will no longer have any power? Who will they be before God and other men? As all forms of idolatry which are at the origin of the earth's evils, the end of money's power will be ordained shortly because money is ordaining the end of humanity.