It is sometimes said that money is the root of all evil. However, this is not actually what scripture tells us. What it tells us is that the love of money is the root of all evil. There is absolutely nothing wrong with money, having money or spending money. When we work, we have the right to be paid a just and decent wage or salary. What the first reading from the Book of Exodus, and the gospel warns us about, is the danger of putting our trust in money and wealth instead of trusting God.

We may remember from the Old Testament that the Jewish People turned their back on God, and began to worship a calf that they had made from gold. Today, we may not be worshipping a golden calf. But we can become so attached and precious about what we have, and own, that they can possess us rather than the other way around. They can often have an unhealthy hold over us. On the radio there is programme called ‘Desert Island Discs.’ Guests are asked to talk about their lives and their most treasured possessions. Before it ends, they are only allowed to bring one item on to the deserted island with them. If you were asked to choose one (or two) of your most treasured and precious belongings, what would you decide to save and bring with you?

As we continue on our way through Lent, we are being asked to consider what is essential to us in our daily lives with each other. What do we treasure most in our lives? We are also being asked to consider our relationship with God. The Ten Commandments are not simply a list of do’s and don’ts. They are offered to us as a set of guidelines. If we accept and follow them, they will help us to live well with each other, and with God. They offer us a quality of life, not a life-style!