Friday 17 September 2021

About Today Readings

St Robert Bellarmine. Day of penance

1 Timothy 6:2-12. Happy the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs! – Psalm 48(49):6-10, 17-20. Luke 8:1-3.

We brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it

Two millennia after St Paul’s letter to Timothy citing the love of money as the root of all evils Nobel economics prize winners, Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman, found that money buys emotional wellbeing (‘happiness’) but only to a point, and for their North American subjects that was an income of $75k p.a. They surmised that was the threshold where more money no longer improved an individuals’ ability to do what matters most to their emotional wellbeing, such as spending time with people they liked, looking after their health, and enjoying leisure.

Living requires resources – even the Gospel notes that Jesus and the Twelve relied on the support of the several women who accompanied them – but today’s readings emphasise that the pursuit of large profits to the exclusion of all else can result in ruin and destruction, as well as being rather pointless. After all, we cannot take anything out of this world.

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