February 24, 2016: Redefining Riches

~by Louis Templeman

Revelation 3: 18: I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich . . . and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see (ESV).

Personal crisis will force a person to redefine what is important. What we grip tightly in one hour of calm will count as dust in a moment of extremity. Life’s challenges bring new perspectives.

The “good thief”, who was crucified beside Jesus had pursued a career as a thief and stole treasure from others. He looked at Jesus as he hung beside him dying with courage, fortitude and faith and recognized a treasure that could not be lost or stolen.

Shakespeare’s Richard III ends with the king facing death on the battlefield. His power and wealth had failed him and he was losing the fight for his life. He is famous for crying out, “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

The personal troubles of the thief and King Richard forced a clear perspective on them and wakened them with startling clarity. True riches cannot be put into your pocket book. They live in the heart, the emotion, the mind and especially in relationships. King Richard destroyed his friendships and family by his pursuit of power and died alone at the hand of an angry enemy. The good thief with his last breath, as it were, reached out in the nick of time and connected to Jesus who promised, “You will be with me.”

“With me!” The promise of God to our troubled lives. Jesus’s prophetic name is Immanuel or “God with us”. This is peace. This is lasting treasure. This is exactly what Christ was restoring to God’s gone astray people. Richard missed it. The thief got it by the skin of his teeth.

The Bible narrative clearly indicates that God – even though he was God with all the attributes of the Almighty – was, so to speak, looking for something more. He wanted relationships/family. He wanted to walk in a garden in the cool of the day knowing that he would be joined by someone who willingly and purposely loved him (Gen. 3:6). Evidently when you have everything this is what you really long for.

Love was what the Father wanted. Such are the riches he is after and he makes this abundantly available for his family.


Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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