In the role that earned him the Oscar for best actor, Michael Douglas uttered words that many said summed up the 1980s:
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good.
Greed is right.
Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind.
And greed - mark my words - will save the USA.
Greed does drive many to work hard, create, and explore. It can inspire virtues like resilience and wise practices like saving money. Greed even promotes a great deal of charitable giving from people anxious to get tax breaks!
Given these truths, why, then, does Jesus tell us that there is no greed in the Kingdom of God? Why does he say, as he does in this week's passage (Mark 10:17-27), that it is impossible - apart from God's power - for a rich person to enter the Kingdom? And if that is true, what hope is there for us, who live in the richest nation in the history of the world?
Let's come together this Sunday and listen to Jesus! He will tell us again of his great love, reveal to us the nature of true riches, and call us urgently to follow him.