THE WEEK OF TRINITY XV – FRIDAY
LESSON: LUKE 12:13-21
“A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
How does it come about that the Gospel and St. Paul single out greed and call it idolatry? They do not do this in the case of other gross sins like impurity, harlotry, evil lusts and thoughts, unchastity, and many other vices opposed to God. It is a very great disgrace that gold should be our god whom we serve, in whom we trust and on whom we rely. This god of gold cannot preserve us or save us; he cannot stand or walk, hear or see; he has no power or might, neither consolation nor help.
What help to the emperor are his great treasures and riches when the hour comes that he must die? Money is a disgraceful, hateful, and powerless god who cannot help you even with one of your little sores and cannot even protect himself. There he lies in his box and must be waited on. Indeed, one must pay attention to him as something powerless, impotent, and weak. The master who possesses him must take precautions day and night that a thief does not steal him. This powerless god cannot help himself or anyone else. What a god this is, a dead god who cannot give the slightest help, a god deserving of our loathing, and yet a costly god! He lets himself be waited on in the most magnificent manner, to be guarded with great chests and castles. His master must always be dancing attendance on him, taking care that he is not destroyed by fire or any other calamity. If this treasure or god consists of rich clothing or fabrics, he must also become an object of special care and guarded against the tiniest of worms and moths who might so easily spoil him and eat him up. What a shocking and accursed thing is unbelief!
SL 11:1617 (10-12)
PRAYER: You have warned us against the sin of covetousness, heavenly Father, because it is a sin that can so easily take complete possession and control of our hearts and lives. Keep this idolatry out of our lives by instilling in us the ideals of true Christian service, in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 5:102-117.