Friday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint John Bellarmine—Doctor of the Church (1542-+1621) Patron Saint of Catechists and Catechumens
1 Timothy 6:2c-12, Psalm 49:6-7, 8-10, 17-18, 19-20, & Luke 8:1-3
Like many who write reflections regarding sacred scripture, I was, and in many cases, still am a teacher. I take that responsibility very seriously. My students need to have good information and skills as they continue to learn when they leave each class. I also know that not all teachers take the responsibility as seriously as I do. Some students would convey that they were taught something different by a prior teacher regarding the same subject. It was difficult for me to tell them that the previous teacher was mistaken, as I would quantify my statement with fact. Without it, those students would not have the proper information needed for their "spiritual" education.
In the first reading, we learn that it is essential that people are taught correctly regarding religion. It is devastating to learn wrong information, but it is also critical for the teacher to know better. Religion, for the teacher and the learner, is about spiritual, not material gain. I've heard televangelists talk about giving charity not as a spiritual gift but as an investment strategy. They suggest that if the good we do is returned tenfold, you will get ten back for every dollar you give to charity (perhaps to a megachurch). That is a much better rate than you could get at the bank or in the stock market. But almsgiving is not about return on investment. The spiritual gain is the point, not the monetary gain.
Sisters and brothers, the old sayings still apply, "we can't take it with us", and "we can't buy our way into heaven." We need to do good works because it is the right thing to do, not because we expect a handsome payment. Money can't buy love. Money can't buy a way to God. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are a poor teacher.
Question of the Day: How will you proclaim the Gospel truth to others?
Prayer: "It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last." —John 15:15