The recent death of the Queen, with all its pomp and circumstance, served as a reminder that, for all our wealth or position in this world, we take none of it with us when we go. But what strikes me is Jesus’ turn of phrase: ‘you cannot serve both God and Wealth.’ The question it asks is, ‘who is your true master?’ Are we so driven by our pursuit of career or wealth that we miss out on the most important things in life, like our relationship with God and others?
A modern tragedy that captures this for me is the Godfather trilogy. In the first film, Al Pacino’s character, Michael Corleone, is the youngest of 4 brothers and a sister, and in the beginning he is not interested in having anything to do with the ‘family business.’ Tragic circumstances, however, force him into taking over the family business where he becomes so ruthlessly focused on power and control that by the third film he has killed one of his brothers, destroying his marriage, and witnesses his daughter, whom he loved dearly, murdered in front of him. The tragedy is made complete in the last scene of this final film where we see him, as an old man, completely alone, dying alone, abandoned, and forgotten.
What Jesus tells us in the parable, however, is that what does last and survives the death experience are our relationships. Therefore, if we want to avoid the fate of Michael Corleone, the wise thing to do is to use our resources to build relationships that will last into eternity
Fr. Ray Sanchez CP is the leader of the Oxley community and responsible for Parish Missions and Retreats throughout Australia and NZ.