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Laughing At Jesus?

You cannot be the slave of both God and money
Luke 16:1-13 or 16:10-13

Sermon Topic Happiness

Sermon Week Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 16:13


Last May, a syndicated newspaper newspaper column began with these words: Playing the lottery is bad enough, but winning's even worse!

The columnist continued: Even though I am against the lottery, I play it twice a week. And I dream of winning and what I will buy with my winnings: an outrageous car, a tour of Europe on the Orient Express, an apartment in London, a long run of happiness. But now I am told that money doesn't buy happiness.1

He was referring to an article published in the New York Times Magazine which was based on interviews with lottery winners. Money not only "doesn't buy happiness," the article concluded, it doesn't even necessarily "buy a good time." The interviews revealed that lottery winners, "after the initial flush wears off," often are miserable. One winner (who won 1.3 million in 1985) threw a party for her friends. "Of all the people who came," she told the interviewer ten years later," not one of them speaks to me now." By means of this and similar stories, and lots of other evidence as well, the article let it be known (as though for the first time) that money doesn't buy happiness. To which, anyone familiar with the teachings of jesus might well ask, "So what else is new?"

"No servant can be the slave of two masters," Jesus says in today's Gospel Lesson. "He will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. YOU CANNOT BE THE SLAVE OF BOTH GOD AND MONEY." (Lk. 16:13). That's the very last sentence from today's Lesson in Luke's Gospel. In the very next sentence, Luke writes, "The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at Him" (Lk, 16:14).

"We brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it," wrote the Apostle Paul. Moreover ...

People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction (I Tim. 10:7-9).

Then [...]

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