Riches are inappropriate for a small-minded person; and of what use is wealth to a miser? what he denies himself he collects for others; and others will live in luxury on his goods. if one is mean to himself, to whom will he be generous?Jesus Ben Sirach:14:3-5
As Christmas approaches this quote stood out at me like a sore thumb. It’s a quote disturbing to those of us who are small minded, and salt in the wound for the wealthy miser.
When I was a child my favourite movie to watch was Scrooge, the Albert Finney version. There was always something so entertaining and joyous about watching an old niggardly miser of a man become renewed in the Holy Spirit.
I used to laugh at the movie, and being ill experienced in life never thought anyone of that character could ever exist. I was wrong. As I developed into adulthood, I realized the world was full of Scrooges who went to that extremity of avariciousness and frugality.
Don’t get me wrong, we all engage in being greedy and not wanting to part with our money, but I think we’d all be in agreement that Scrooge is on another level. We sit back and watch the movie knowing in our heart of hearts we could never take it to that extreme.
I watch it and pray, “please God, don’t ever allow my sons to bring shame on my family name by becoming like this man. I want them to do well for themselves, but always coupled with your wisdom on how to see themselves and world for what it really is.” For the Lord says,
Have regard for your name, since it will outlive you longer than a thousand hoards of goldJesus Ben Sirach:41:12
By this the inspired writer means it is bad to have a bad name in front of the Lord. It doesn’t matter what people who are born and die think of you years after you’re 6 feet under. What really matters is how you’re thought of by the Lord and what actions you do that echo in the halls of the eternal castle above.
We are children of nobility, and when we do stuff like this we bring shame on our family name in front of the Lord and can even incur the wrath of God on our lineage. This is why I always beg for any sins my ancestors did to be lifted.
Therefore, this Christmas where there is plenty of opportunity, lets use it to do good to others. In doing good to others we do good to Christ. We have to be on guard, because not all of us will get visited by the three ghosts. Not all of us will get the supernatural shake we need. Be generous this Christmas. Give! Give! Give!