The theme of generosity in today’s readings invites us to reflect spiritually but does not excuse us from examining our attitude towards money. We know that money isn’t good in and of itself: it can give us a certain power to acquire other material goods, but is itself neither good nor evil. The Pharisees are accused by Jesus of being “lovers of money.” On the other hand, Saint Paul thanks the Philippians for giving to him in his need. The Pharisees are interested in increasing wealth in order to continue to have power and influence. Saint Paul sees neither wealth nor poverty as evil in and of themselves, but rather the attitude of heart we can have in either of those situations.
When we have made the Lord’s yoke heavy and hard to us, we at once complain in a blasphemous spirit of the hardness and roughness of the yoke itself or of Christ who lays it on us.
He has done well to put [the Spirit] third. For the first is to be called in Christ, the next to have love. But when both are true and they have already been called in Christ and enjoy the consolation of loving and being loved, without doubt the fellowship of the Spirit is there.…
There are humble religious, and there are proud religious. The proud ones should not promise themselves the kingdom of God. The place to which dedicated chastity leads is certainly higher, but the one who exalts himself will be humbled. Why seek the higher place with an appetite for the heights, when you can make it simply by holding on to lowliness? If you exalt yourself, God throws you down. If you cast yourself down, God lifts you up. One may not add to or subtract from the Lord’s pronouncement.