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The good news for the day November 18, 2016

Friday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time (501)

Jesus entered the area for prayer and worship; there he went on to drive out people selling things, telling them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a burrow of thieves.’” Every day he would teach in that area. Religious leaders, educated people, and political elite, meanwhile, kept looking for how they could get  him executed, but they could find no way to accomplish their resolve—the public was listening to his words. (Luke 19)

Most religious people have a place for public, shared prayer—church (or synagogue, or mosque, or ashram). There with your community of believers you recite familiar words, often sing, and listen to instructions and inspiration. And, one way or another—in your heart, with your lips, in your mind, with your body—you pray—you communicate with God.

Money is the distractor. Your mind feels free to go back to bills to pay. You concern yourself with buying and selling—we all do—with the needs at home.  It is even part of prayer to ask God for help. These places—besides—have collections; they have money involved.

Perhaps it is just useful to reflect on God and money—to weigh the importance of commitment to prayer versus the importance of money in your life. You and I need money, and to some, it has become a god, a reason to cheat, to disregard respect, to look down on poor people, to judge others in terms of income.

We spend energy to get rich—or richer.  But to what value? Is your prayer an acceptance of God, an appreciation of God our Father, and our family—and the need to share the wealth—the gifts of God—in this family? The good news—frees us from that pursuit of gain, that need to become secure, and that priority of clutching our savings. Love God and neighbor—and let the pursuit of money be the burden of someone else. Let them be lured by it.

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