Do We Really Want Luxury And Pleasure?


Today’s first reading from James 5:1-6 got me to thinking about the lottery. I used to be and I say used to be one who thought “If only I could win the lottery I would…” Many will disagree with me but I believe today without a doubt, that if I won the lottery, it would ruin my life and I would be on the road to hell.

Scripture talks about storing up riches and not being able to take any of it with us when we die. St. James says also “You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.” How many comments have we made in our dreams of winning the lottery that we would give this much away, buy this, move here, travel there and many other “things” one can do or have with a lot of money. I for one could not handle the responsibility of following the will of God with a lot of money. I just could not do it.

I think the temptations would be so great even with the desire to share it with those in need. The Responsorial Psalm 49:17-20 also says today…Do not fear when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house grows great. At his death he will not take along anything, his glory will not go down after him. During his life his soul uttered blessings; “They will praise you, for you do well for yourself.” But he will join the company of his fathers, never again to see the light.

Never see light! I am not financially rich by the world’s standards but I have to be on guard for the excess luxury and pleasure available to me. I have a lot already, more than I need and this in itself should wake me up. There is a prayer that I say daily that I started for one of my New Year’s Resolutions 2 years ago. It is Proverbs 30:7-9 and I believe it has helped me greatly to not desire too much or too little…Two things I ask of you, do not deny them to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need; Lest, being full, I deny you, saying, “Who is the LORD?” Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God.

As much as our Lord talks about how difficult it will be for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, let us pray in gratitude and thanksgiving for what we have been given and to use all of God’s grace for his glory and not our own. Amen.

Picture from images
Mike Burke; Thursday, May 19, 2016
Do We Really Want Luxury And Pleasure?

6 thoughts on “Do We Really Want Luxury And Pleasure?

  1. I think our ability to handle well or not handle well having a lot of money (i.e. winning the lottery) has a lot to do with what is already going on inside of us. If we have learned to keep a relatively even keel, have a deep core of faith, inner joy and peace, then God might send us wealth to use for His greater glory and share with others. Not all rich people are evil and corrupt; many do a lot of good with their wealth. However, if we are looking to money to GIVE us joy and happiness, then we will be ultimately disappointed and will probably misuse the wealth and spiritually endanger ourselves.

    Many psychologists believe that all of us have a “happiness set point.” Surprisingly, research has shown that most people return to their “set point,” whether that be high or low, within a year after a major life-changing event, whether that event is good or bad! In other words, people who already were not very happy returned to their unhappy state after a year of winning a lottery; whereas, people who were already pretty happy returned to that state within a year of a tragic or unhappy life event. This is certainly food for thought!

    It’s all about how we view money and its impact on our lives. Personally, I am not poor but certainly do not have a lot of money, nor do I buy lottery tickets. I would not want to win a very huge amount of money (tens of millions) because I feel that would complicate my life more than I would like. However, to have enough money to feel financially secure would be nice! I don’t believe that money in and of itself is evil; it’s our relationship to it that could become evil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good information Gloria! I just think I would be way to immature to handle money. I could give it away but would I be enabling others? If I helped my family is that what God wants? You said you feel it would “complicate my life more than I would like.” Exactly! I have been seeking simplicity, though struggling with it, in my life. As we get older, wisdom does come by the grace of God.

      Liked by 1 person

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