Aristotle Onassis was one of the wealthiest men in Greece and the world as well. He was a shipping magnate who amassed the world’s largest privately owned shipping fleet. He was not very rich at the beginning of his business. He borrowed money from his friends and the banks to start his first cruise liner.
His business improved overnight as a result of entertaining politicians and other influential people in his ship and under their protection he was involved in selling narcotics. He lost his peace of mind as his wealth grew. He lost his only son in an accident.
After the death of his son, Cristina his daughter assumed the mantle of the business. She had a very disturbed life and could not find solace even though she was married 4 times. She got into numerous extra marital affairs in search of love and eventually turned an addict and succumbed to an over dose.
Athena the only daughter of Cristina a mere 15 year old teenager has inherited huge business from her mother. Her fear is that she will inherit this wealth when she turns 18 and once with tears in her eyes she told her teacher that this money was the cause of her mother’s death and it is cursed and wants to dispose of this wealth and live in peace.
The kind of wealth accumulated through illegal means is accursed and is not a blessing from God. But the greedy go in search of these kinds of money and this keeps us away from the love of God. Many of us have replaced God with money in our heart. They have received recognition and status in the society but have lost the love of God. “For my people have committed evils, they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cistern that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
The Lord warns us that wealth is like a blind guide and an imprudent advisor. The one who earns wealth through illegal means and the one who spends money on illegal things loses his soul. St Paul in his letter to Colossians calls greed as a form of Idol worship. He urges, the Colossians, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is Idolatry” (Col 3: 5). Such people will not have God in their hearts and their lives will be filled with darkness and are pushed into a life sin.
A person on a spiritual journey may find the attractions of the materialistic world a temptation to their spiritual growth. The material wealth that this world has to offer will be of no use to us in our eternal life, what more it will be of no use us in this earthly life itself. Then why do we go behind these material wealth instead of focusing our lives on God. God provides us with everything that is needed in our lives. And we can achieve nothing without God. Let us not be like the rich man mentioned in Luke 12:20, “But God said to him, ‘fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” Let us not be caught unawares and lost in our material possession and be unprepared when Jesus knocks on our door.
Let us be prudent and not go after amassing material possession. The Devil is always ready to fulfill our desires but with a price to pay that we live according to his will. Let us recall to our minds the words he used to tempt Jesus in Mathew 4:9, “and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Let us stay awake at all times to not fall into his temptation and lead a life pleasing to God.