Reflection & Dialogue: Confidence and Prudence
There is need for a warning on the dangers arising from mamon, undue reliance on money, riches, in any age. In his advice on what to avoid, when writing to the Colossians (3:5) Paul includes greed, which he says is idolatry. We know that very many today feel no need of reliance on God, on our heavenly Father, with regard to food, clothing or other material things. One’s personal human labour, social and charitable orginizations, attend to these. But even these, excellent as they are, can act as mamon, coming between the believer and the Father in heaven, between them and God, and the righteousness of God, that is his love, and his revealed will for all of us.
Jesus’ words are still true: the human person is greater that food, drink and clothes, and any other material goods. This Gospel reading is a call to renew faith in the things that matter, things of the spirit, of the love of the living God revealed in Christ and which continues to be proclaimed by the Church. The reading recalls that God, our heavenly Father, is always near to us, in all our needs.
The Gospel reading does not call on believers to neglect human prudence, and to work for one’s living. It calls on us to unite trust in God with the virtue of prudence.
(For reflections on the Sunday and Feast Day readings see Martin McNamara, Sunday Readings with Matthew: Interpretations and Reflections, Dublin, Veritas, 2016)