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Possessions

“In today’s gospel passage [Matthew 10:9-15] the Lord Jesus reviews the material provisions we need as we engage in the task of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven. Christ’s words have an austere, even severe, ring to them, for the disciple is to make no provision for anything, including finances, food, and clothing. Does the Lord really believe that such a stringent standard can be met? Does He think we require no money, nor food and drink, nor clothing? Does He utterly disdain our material needs? Of course not! When Christ our God commands us to “provide neither gold nor silver,” etc. (vs. 9), He uses a verb that implies possession, but with a lack of complete control. The Lord’s meaning is that we disciples should not invest our foremost life energy in guaranteeing ourselves a supply of money and material goods. If we seek to amass a strong cash reserve, it requires us to abandon our primary task as disciples. The Lord’s point is very simple: we cannot focus on two opposing life tasks. Our lives are dedicated to proclaiming His kingdom, whatever our work may be.” (Dynamis 6/20/2023)


“…there is a potentially dangerous relationship with wealth because we have to wrestle with it or wealth can quickly master us and make us its servant….we can have possessions but not be possessed by them. If we carry our possessions in our soul, they become the idol of our heart—a god of gold and silver—displacing the Lord God. “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces; should I let myself be inquired of at all by them?” (Ezekiel 14:3) The spiritual danger is that our possessions feed our sinful passions. In our heart and soul should be thanksgiving, not our possessions. Once we bring our possessions into our heart, they possess our spirit and lead us around as slaves. We need to make God the most precious possession of our hearts, not our wealth: “…and if the Almighty is your gold, and your precious silver; then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God” (Job 22:25-26).” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“…the Gospel refers to riches in a number of places, but what’s condemned isn’t the possession of wealth itself, but the way in which it’s used. According to the logic of the Gospel, it’s a considerable trial to be rich. If your wealth is a source of joy for your neighbor, then you can be called rich in Christ. But if your riches are purely and simply there to serve your own selfish needs, so that you can eat and drink to your heart’s content, then, as far as the Gospel is concerned, you’re avaricious and that’s all there is to it.” (Protopresbyter Nikolaos Patsalos)


“Clement understands that wealth, riches, possessions can have a negative spiritual impact on any human being. Their hearts become cloudy or impure because their wealth clouds their thinking as it becomes their focus pushing everything else to the periphery of the mind. They lose sight of God making wealth their true god which they serve with all their heart. And due to their own passions they become willing to violate both the Ten Commandments and the Gospel commandments in order to protect their claim to their possessions. (Remember Christ’s words in Matthew 6:24 that you cannot serve God AND mammon.) Clement does not consign all the rich to hell but rather acknowledges that some wealthy people have a good, spiritual understanding of the blessings they have received from God in the form of their possessions.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“We should not be fascinated with our possessions, lest they possess us.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 6:24)



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