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Daily Bible Verses | Faith And Riches | Jesus God And Mammon | King James Audio Bible KJV | Love Revealed By Jesus Christ

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Christian Art | God And Mammon | King James Audio Bible KJV

Luke 16: 9-15 – Week 31 Ordinary Time, Saturday (King James Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
13 ¶ No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

At the time of Luke’s writing his Gospel, those Christian communities which had largely arisen among the poor were being joined by richer people. This caused some problems, which appear in the advice given in the Letter of James, in the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, and in Luke’s Gospel. Saint Paul describes how, when the Christian community comes together to share the Lord’s supper, the rich have brought their own food and have no intention of sharing it. This was at a time when the Eucharist proper was still celebrated as part of a larger meal, an arrangement which did not last many years. St Paul writes:

20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. (1 Corinthians 11: 20-22)

James accuses the Christian communities of favouring those who are rich above those who are poor, giving them good places to sit in their assemblies while the poor are left standing or sitting on the floor. He warns the rich:

GO to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. (James 5: 1-5)
6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

In today’s Gospel verses, Jesus teaches us to be faithful in that which is least – i.e. money, capital, material possessions – in order that we may be rewarded with that which is much, indeed everything, our place in the Kingdom of God. Some might say that all money has the taint of unrighteousness; others distinguish between good and evil ways of acquiring and using money. What is clear is Jesus’ teaching that attachment to money, love of money, is evil. It is when we are consumed with such attachment that we become faithless. This is the sin Jesus now accuses the Pharisees of committing, telling them that their love of money is an abomination, the original Greek word meaning worship of idols, an horrific sin to a true worshipper of God. Rather than be like this, we are called to be faithful with the capital we own or control, to use our resources for good, as Christians.

Concluding Prayer | Love Revealed By Jesus Christ

Lord God,
living light of eternal love,
grant that always aglow with charity,
we may love you above all else
and our brethren for your sake,
With one and the selfsame love.
Through Christ our Lord.

King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version | Endnotes

You Cannot Serve God And Mammon

Luke 16: 9-15 presents a message and a puzzle about the proper way to consider wealth and to serve God. The passage begins with Jesus telling his disciples a parable about a shrewd manager who is praised by his master for using his resources wisely. However, Jesus goes on to make a broader point about the relationship between money and God, saying: ‘No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Luke 16:13, KJV)

At the heart of this passage is the idea that wealth and material possessions can be a hindrance to spiritual growth and devotion to God. Jesus does not say that money is inherently evil or that it is impossible to be both wealthy and religious. An interpretation is that Jesus warns against the danger of becoming so attached to material things that they become our focus in life, rather than God.

This theme is echoed throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments. In Proverbs 11:28, for example, it is written: ‘He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.’ (KJV) Similarly, in 1 Timothy 6:10, Saint Paul writes that ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’. (KJV) These verses suggest that wealth, if not kept in proper perspective, can lead to spiritual and moral decay.

Christians have warned against the dangers of materialism and have encouraged believers to seek a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. One prominent example is Saint Francis of Assisi, who famously renounced his wealth and embraced a life of poverty in order to better serve God. In one of his most famous prayers, Saint Francis wrote: ‘Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.’ This prayer embodies the idea that true happiness and fulfillment come not from material possessions, but from a deep connection with God and a commitment to serving others.

Pope Francis has spoken out about the dangers of materialism and the importance of prioritizing spiritual values over material ones. In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis wrote: ‘The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume.’ Pope Francis went on to call for a renewed emphasis on simplicity, stating that ‘Living soberly, satisfied with the minimum, we cultivate a capacity to endure, to care for one another, to share, and to be creative.’

In addition to the warning against materialism, Luke 16:9-15 also highlights the importance of being honest and just in our dealings with others. The parable of the shrewd manager, which precedes Jesus’ warning about serving God and mammon, illustrates this point. The manager is praised for his shrewdness, but it is clear that his actions are also deceitful and dishonest. This is why Jesus goes on to say: ‘He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.’ (Luke 16:10, KJV)

This idea is further developed throughout the Bible, with many passages emphasizing the importance of honesty and integrity in all areas of life. Proverbs 10:9 states: ‘He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.’ (KJV) Similarly, in Psalm 15, the writer asks: ‘Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.’ (KJV)

The importance of honesty and integrity in business and financial dealings is also emphasized in the Bible. Proverbs 16:11 states: ‘A just weight and balance are the Lord’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.’ (KJV) This passage suggests that God is concerned with fairness and justice in all economic transactions. In the New Testament, Jesus also speaks about the importance of honesty in financial matters, saying: ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.’ (Matthew 22:21, KJV)

Christians emphasize importance of honesty and integrity in all areas of life. For example, Martin Luther wrote in his Small Catechism: ‘Thou shalt not steal. What does this mean? We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbour’s money or property, nor get them by false ware or dealing, but help him to improve and protect his property and business.’ This passage emphasizes the importance of honesty and fairness in business dealings, as well as the need to help others rather than taking advantage of them.

In his 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II wrote: ‘Business activity has a human significance, prior to its professional one… Therefore, it must be carried out honestly, with the goal of efficiency and social benefits, and with respect for the moral principles of justice and equity.’ This passage suggests that economic activity is not just about making money, but about serving the common good and promoting justice and fairness.