Grace to you!
The biblical story of Abraham fascinates. Whenever I reread about him in Scripture, greater insights are gained.
For instance, Genesis 13:2 says Abram (Abraham) was very rich in cattle, silver and gold, meaning he lacked nothing of the three greatest economic assets of his time. Wealth for the time of Abraham is comparable to what Adam Smith described in his An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (The Wealth of Nations), as economic power based on access and ownership to “stuff.” Abraham had material stuff, the kind that many nations and people fight over.
But Abraham had something more than “stuff” and this is what distinguishes him from Lot, his nephew, and from many others also. He was rich in the art of giving something away. He was altruistic. He was a man of virtue.
He was wealthy in finding a sense of balance between wants and needs, between what is necessary and what isn't. He discovered the secret of the power of love and service over ego-driven wants and greedy self-aggrandizement.
In fact, in Abraham, we see a true case study of what the Lord would say thousands of years after: "Do unto others what you will want done to you" (Mt 7:12). This is an ethical rule inscribed in the natural law, yet in it is the spirit of love and generosity.
A heart in which greed is overcome, in that heart joy and peace, plus what “stuff” can't buy, reside. What better contentment can there be than to go to bed and rise not worried about who is on our way to fulfillment, knowing each person has his or her unique path to divine blessedness.
From the Saints we learn that the joy of giving something away including our self-centered desires, is worth more than a feast from the windfalls of insatiable greed. One of the secrets of greatness is letting go. There are many things we hang onto that are not necessary.
Contentment is golden. One with God is content. One truly with God is constantly giving the ego-drive away by submitting it’s attachment to what is for the common good and service. Abraham’s attitude of detachment and readiness to share what he has with another (Lot) is a good example.
Praying for the grace of contentment and detachment. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Genesis 13:2, 5-18; Mt 7:6, 12-14]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.