Minute Meditations

Love of Money

jar of coins | Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

“Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me” (John 13:21).

In John’s Gospel, Jesus knows what is happening at all times. The events are part of a greater plan. He knows that he will be betrayed and he knows who his betrayer is. Yesterday we heard Judas challenge him over the jar of ointment used to anoint him. Today Jesus tells Judas to be about his errand. In both instances, John reminds his readers that Judas was the keeper of the community’s money.

We have seen throughout the accounts of Francis’s life and woven into his writings a deep distrust of money. He made it a part of the rule of life for his companions that they not handle money, that they treat it with contempt, that they regard it as having little more value than dust or dung.

While this might seem extreme to us today, we can also see the way the Gospels also suggest that there is something about money that turns people from the good. Judas, we are told elsewhere, agrees to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, money he later flings back at the temple priests. And Jesus himself drives the moneychangers from the temple. In this holiest of weeks, we are challenged more than ever to think about our own relationship with money and material goods. Are we in danger of letting it come between ourselves and our God or ourselves and our loved ones? Money questions can ruin relationships, inner peace, spiritual well-being. We like to think we can separate our finances and our prayer lives. Jesus and Francis remind us that we can’t, that we have to wrestle with these questions again and again. Is that where our confrontation with the cross hits home?

—from the book Lent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections
by Diane M. Houdek

Lent with St. Francis


2 thoughts on “Love of Money”

  1. Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon me also, O Lord my God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.(Prayer of Thomas Aquinas)

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