How can we build a life based on what Jesus commands us?
Jesus is equally uncompromising when it comes to both marriage and money: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matt. 19:9); “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt. 19:24)
Who then can be saved?
Jesus clearly tells us: “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.” (Matt. 19:11); “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:25). So, we all must pray to God for mercy and focus our life on Him.
In the Gospels, these two themes are among those that Jesus uses to illustrate the teaching that to gain access to the Heavenly Kingdom we must submit to the Lord. When mothers came to present Him their babes, Jesus told the disciples: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matt. 19:14). Christ’s message remains the same –- to lead a righteous life, we must entrust ourselves to the Father.
But how can we resist the lure of money and the comforts it provides, as we ask the Lord for his help?
To join Jesus in our heart and resist the temptation to “acquire”
We must break the wall of silence that discourages the discussion of these verses from the Gospel. Today, they’ve become a taboo. And for a reason! Many people lack the means to fulfill their legitimate aspirations: a spacious home for their family or financing their child’s education.
So, how do we tell our spouse that we wish to consecrate the greater part of the family budget to fight poverty in the world? How do we “nicely” ask them to stop spending so much money? This is something extremely hard to put in words or in writing.
Or imagine another situation: there is no more money in the bank account! Where do we find people to confide in and ask for help? What will be their reaction?
No matter what our financial situation is like, let us contemplate the image of Christ on the Cross. We must reach out to Him in our hearts and minds, and savor His love. This will make us less prone to “acquire” material things. Let us meditate on His presence among the poor who suffer and especially among all those we can help. Let us pray the Holy Spirit to put mercy in our hearts and go seek out those less fortunate than we are.
Father Pierre Descouvemont
Do you fight about money as a couple?