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Has It Gone Through You?

**... a man's life is not made secure by what he owns even when he has more than he needs** (Luke 12:15).
Ecclesiastes 1:2,2:21-23; Psalms 95:1-2,6-9; Colossians 3:1-5,9-11; Luke 12:13-21

Sermon Topic Possessions

Sermon Week Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 12:15

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According to one of author Ernest Hemingway's biographers, on the first day of each new year Hemingway gave away some of his most treasured possessions. And when people asked him why he did this, he would answer, "If I can give them away, then I own them. But if I can't give them away, they own me."

Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists have been telling us for a long time that it is the money aspect of their lives that troubled patients are most reluctant to reveal. They are willing to bare their souls about their work-life, about their home-life, about their sex-life, about their leisure-life, but not their economic life. This, it seems, is the last secret to unfold, the most painful to reveal. Why is that?

Is it because of the popular, but misguided belief that money empowers us to move into some kind of guaranteed future of our own making? Is it because we have been victimized by the terribly mistaken notion that genuine human fulfillment is measured in terms of the amount of money and things we have acquired?

One prominent psychiatrist has described love of money as the most crippling disease in the Western World. And most of us can make a self-diagnosis on whether or not we are among the afflicted.

Ask any investment counselor and he or she will tell you that when their clients ask for advice on what to do with their excess money, without exception they not only want to hold onto it, they want to make it grow as fast as possible. Very few, it seems, seek advice on how to give away some of their excess.

Despite his tremendous success in the world of business and finance, an extremely wealthy man became extremely depressed. A terrible feeling of emptiness had come over him. What to do? He searched in many directions for an answer to that question, but nothing seemed to help. Finally, a psychiatrist referred the troubled man to a member of the clergy. Perhaps a spiritual checkup would help. After listening to the man's tale of woe, the spiritual advisor opened [...]

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