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The older word for greed is "avarice." It connotes simple desire in the Latin root, but came to mean desire for wealth in the English cognate. Yet, many think of avarice as only done when someone is hoarding financial wealth. There are many different ways that one can fall into avarice. In my homily last night and this morning I dealt much with the deadly sin of greed. Here is one more aspect that we need to consider.

We can all find ways to justify it. Whether you were at Mass at St. George this weekend or not, I encourage you to consider if there is any way that you may be justifying your own greed. First, in case you think you are immune, remember that the blessings we have received here in these USA are far beyond what the average Catholic would have enjoyed just a hundred years ago. The "wealth" that is all over America is a blessing, yes, but it can also be a burden that keeps us from seeing it for what it is (it is not a hardship when we have to wait an extra five minutes in the drive thru when there are people who did not have enough food to eat today).

Now, contemplate it. The most common way we justify greed is to say "I am just being wise and a good steward". True, we are called to be wise, as well as to be good stewards of our finances. Do we, however, put a disproportionate emphasis on our financial security? Ask yourself what you spend more time on each week: financial or spiritual security? What would it be like to have no financial security and have to work every day to put food on the table (as the majority of humans have for the entire history of the world)?

Do not be deceived and think that only rich people fall into greed; poor people can be just as greedy in heart even if they do not have what rich people have. Be willing to open yourself up to the Lord and ask Him to show you if you are greedy; in anything. Be ready to receive the truth. And, above all, respond humbly and do something about it if God speaks to your heart.


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