“Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you.” This quote taken from today’s Second Reading from the letter of Saint James coincides with some of the things we are experiencing today. Today many people in our country are struggling because they find themselves out of work or not able to make enough money to put food on the table and pay the bills. Truth is brothers and sisters the crises we face today could have been avoided. This crisis is a result of the deadly sin of greed on the part of our society.
Soon as we hear the word “greed” we immediately associate it with the adding up of material things such as possessions and money. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word greed as “a selfish desire for more of something than is needed.” Greed is so destructive not only for our society but also for our spiritual life for when greed consumes our lives it causes us to close our hearts to the point where we focus and live only for ourselves.
Brothers and sisters it is easy for us to associate and confuse greed with success. There are many individuals who are successful, who are certainly not greedy individuals. These individuals are extremely generous with their talents, time, and treasure. While certainly having more makes it more challenging towards growing in ones spiritual life, we shouldn’t be so quick to associate success with greed. Yes there are plenty of greedy people out there who are looking simply to pile up wealth here on earth, but today I would like to present to you an argument that the majority of greedy people are not those in business but that the deadly sin of greed is implanted in the hearts of all of us gathered here.
Next week is pro-life Sunday and in preparation for that I wish to talk about two items in particular that have contributed to the collapse of this great nation, the sins of abortion and contraception. Everything hinges on the issue of life. Let me repeat that again…everything hinges on the issue of life. The issue of contraception has been brought to the forefront in recent months with the Health and Human Services mandate. While our objection as a Church to the H.H.S mandate is on the grounds that it violates our freedom of conscience as a Church and that it violates the freedom of conscience of individuals, it has provided for us an opportunity to address the topic of contraceptives on a moral level. More people today are coming to an understanding of why abortion is wrong, however, they are still not grasping the moral gravity of the use of contraception.
In the majority of the cases abortion and contraception is a product of the deadly sin of greed. Remember greed is a selfish desire and the most of the time people will use contraception to prevent pregnancy so that it doesn’t get in their way of their careers or their plans in life. Today people are even given the option to have an abortion when it’s discovered that their children will be born with certain aliments. Raising children with disabilities can be a challenge but having worked with adults and children with these disabilities let me say this…they taught me and they can teach everyone how to love. They are truly special individuals. Brothers and sisters abortion is just unacceptable in every case. The argument people tend to make in favor for contraceptives is that we live in a society where we can’t afford to have and provide for children. While I understand this argument recognizing that times are indeed tough…we cannot afford not to have children.
Why are we experiencing such an economic collapse? The fact is the birth rate in our nation is low and with the low birth rate our nation is simply imploding. Once greed seeps into the very core of our society the family it begins to spread to the point where it can be seen externally. Why is it when we browse the news we see so many stories of corruption being exposed? The answer is simple the greed that took root in the core is bubbling to the surface. Why are so many jobs leaving our country? Again the answer is simple we are running out of laborers. Having a low birthrate means big problems. If we keep running in the trend we are heading more doctors, nurses, and teachers will be out of work because they will have no one to teach or treat. Once something takes root in the core of our society…the family it will eventually spill over into other areas…in fact we are experiencing its effects right now. Everything hinges on the issue of life. Greed can be overcome by generosity and an openness to life in all its stages.
We are indeed a rich nation filled with a lot of potential but our wealth is slowly slipping away. Will things get more difficult before it gets better…in deed it will, but it’s important that we change course. This past week I was at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville Tennessee where Trace Adkins sang a song “tough times don’t last, tough people do! It is important that we take hold of the cross and carry it. Take the line found in today’s letter from Saint James to heart. His words can be applied easily today as they were in his time but today there is hope in the horizon and that hope can be found in the spirit of everyone gathered here today. Be open to God’s plan not your own. We can see the danger and we can see the problems…with that I leave you with this…what are we doing and what are we going to do to change it?