Because it is pre-Lent and because I want to get a head start on penance (Lord knows I need it), I watched the Demoncratic debate. The torture was excruciating. The battle of the mindless was worthy of a nerf gun fight in which the participants wore body armor.
Those who watched this travesty have certainly cut short any time they may have spent in purgatory.What struck me most about this debate was that it was focused not on human rights, not on human dignity, but on greed. Yes, greed. It was all about money. About who had the most money and status and who is worthy based solely upon money and status to be president. They did not address morals. They did not address values. They were focused solely upon money.The common maxim is that money is the root of all evil, but that is not correct. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil (I Timothy 6:10). Money in and of itself is not evil. There are many people who are rich beyond anything most of us can imagine, but the money does not control them. It does not control their ambitions or their world view. Money to them is an instrument to be used to enrich their fellow man. The difference between those people and the demoncratic candidates for president is that they do not focus on the riches. They are successful but they do not define their success by their bank account.In the parable of the Ten Talents,
Jesus related a story in which the master entrusted certain talents to his servants. He left for a time and returned to require an account of each servant his use of those talents. Two of them invested wisely and were rewarded. They thought not for tomorrow, but only for serving their master wisely. But one servant, in his fear and focus on those things worldly, hid his talent. He thought only of his present circumstance; he thought only of the immediate consequences should he fail. He saw himself not as a steward, but an owner.A steward lives for the day he will return the Master’s goods to Him. An owner believes his possessions are his to spend in any way he sees fit. All we have–our material goods, our abilities, and even our very lives–belong to someone else. We are merely holding them for the day of reckoning. We learn further in the parable that each man receives according to his ability but not the same amount.
This parable has a double meaning. It is first focused on our preparedness for the second coming of Jesus Christ. What have we done with the talents he has given us? But it also speaks to greed. Greed removes from our consciousness the destination of our mortal soul; it puts at the forefront our earthly desires and perceived needs. Unfettered, it drives every choice we make in our quest for earthly comfort. But earth is not our home. It is our sojourn in our quest for that land promised to those who love God and who stay faithful to him. It's not about money and status. But even if we have that money, it is a talent given to be used for his honor and glory.
It is a sad commentary on society that those who wish to govern see only the lack of money and status as the sole prerequisite for fitness to rule. Morals and ethics have been abandoned in an effort of the greedy to out-humble the greedy. In an effort to change the moral compass of this country they have focused not on those things that have a lasting effect on society, but on those things which matter only for the moment. They have deceived those who claim to be Christians by accentuating greed couched in a cloak of fairness into supporting them. They have appealed to the human weakness of greed; they have convinced so-called Christians to abandon a godly definition of fairness in favor of temporal desires.For that, those Christians will have to answer, because their talents lie in riches but not earthly riches. Their talents lie in the deposit of the faith handed down through the ages. It is for those talents they will be held to account and that account will be first and foremost their adherence to the faith in this life regardless of personal feeling or consequence.