Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx (1890 – 1977) was an American comedian and actor. He was often known for his quick wit and he is widely considered to be one of America’s greatest comedians. He was accepted as a member of the exclusive Friar’s Club in Hollywood. Groucho however, expressed his disappointment that the club was not as exclusive as he first thought. His telegram to the committee read: “Please accept my resignation.
“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three… “
Not a preacher’s favorite passage.
Today’s Gospel selection according to Luke starts with an admonition to place our faith and trust in the right things and not in things of this world, which wear out, can be stolen, or eaten by moths. Christ tells us to, “sell your belongings and give alms.” It’s up to us to decide what is important. Are we hung up on the things of the here and now or are we looking forward to what is to come? Jesus told his disciples (and us) that the Father is pleased to give us the heavenly reward offered freely and completely.
“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” I’m guessing that most of us could put this quote from today’s Gospel front and center on our refrigerators as a daily reminder of seductive power of our society and the earthly possessions that call to us. I’m amazed by the many situations every day that show how vulnerable we are to a society that tells us “more is better.” My wife, dogs, and I live in a two bedroom condo.