October 31, 2011 - Monday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

St. Paul’s point is that anything we give God, we first received from him, plus it was always his anyway. All things exist in him and for him and through him. If we give him something we made, he is the creator of the earth and all materials. If we give him an hour, he is the creator of time. If we give him ourselves, he is our creator. There is nothing that we can give him that will put him in our debt.

Jesus’ point is that God is willing to be in debt to us. The poor are God’s investment bankers. If you make a deposit with them, God will pay the loan back with interest. We do not give the poor money: we loan the poor money, and then God pays it back, tenfold or hundredfold. In this economy, it would be foolish to put your money in Treasury bills or the stock market. The only sure bet in this world is in giving it to the poor.

The goods of this earth were given to Adam by God. Since we are all equally the sons and daughters of Adam, we have equally inherited the goods of this earth. Some people are managing a great deal of the shared goods of the earth. Some people are managing only a very little. It is right and proper that some people manage a lot of the world’s wealth, but it is wrong when that wealth is used wastefully. It is good when the wealth is used to make this world a better place by growing something useful or building something worthwhile or inventing something better or creating something beautiful.

No one owns anything. If a man has a million dollars, then he is managing a million dollars worth of the earth’s shared goods. It is his duty to see to it that this portion of the wealth of the earth is distributed in a useful and fair way. He begins with himself and his family as he distributes the goods, then he distributes to those families who do not have enough. Each one of us is in charge of a portion of the world. It may be a small portion, but it was made by God, given to humanity, and entrusted to you. If you do well with it, God will be in debt to you, not by necessity but by his own choice.