Wealth and God’s Economy
Our Gospel reading deals with the management of wealth – a subject that preoccupies almost all societies both historically and today. Wealth can be very divisive and it clearly threatened the relationships between the corrupt steward, his master and his debtors.
Today we worry about wealth, having sufficient to lead a reasonable life, the widening gap between rich and poor in our society and many others, the management of our national wealth and the stewardship – good and bad – of corporate wealth by companies and banks. Within the retailing sector we have recently seen the devastating effects on tens of thousands of people through the closure of BHS, in part at least through individual greed. In contrast the John Lewis Partnership offers a model of shared wealth where all employees are partners and benefit from the profits made by the business and their efforts within it. It is interesting that two current Sunday evening TV series, ‘Victoria’ and ‘Poldark’ both have as their subtexts the relationship between rich and poor, opulence and destitution and the power and privilege that wealth and social position confer.
Then there’s spiritual wealth. We are familiar with Matthew 6:21 (or Luke 12:34). ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ The Church encourages the accumulation of spiritual wealth or ‘spiritual capital’ as it is often called. Such wealth or capital is renewed and augmented by our life as a Christian community. Through prayer, worship and a constant awareness of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, it truly becomes wealth to be shared for the greater good of all.