Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Price of Greed

How much does greed cost? In the case of a California couple who tried to defraud Wendy's, nine years of their lives and $170,000 is the price of the bowl of chili which was at the heart of their plan to get rich quick.

Anna Ayala and husband Jaime Plascencia are the couple, with a previous history of frivilous lawsuits, who pretended to find a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy's Chili. In a bit of detective work worthy of the TV show C.S.I., police proved that the finger had been added to the chili after it was purchased. But the incident cost the hamburger chain millions of dollars in declining revenues and will now cost the pair nearly a decade of their lives. As Judge Edward Davila who ruled on the case this week said, "Greed and avarice overtook this couple and they lost their moral compass."

Judge Davila's statement on avarice brings back that now nearly lost word, which was once known as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Avarice is to be possessed by your own possessions. It is to see acquiring money or possessions as the end in itself rather than useful means.
Mark's Gospel tells of Jesus meeting a rich young man (read the story here) who could not follow Jesus because he had many possessions with which he refused to part. That is avarice. The solution is to rightly see money and possessions in relation to our relationship with God.

As the Rev. Dr. William Stafford puts it in the chapter on avarice his book Disordered Loves: Healing the Seven Deadly Sins,

We urgently need Christians who deliberately choose to live in the midst of the world as if God really were the Lord and creator of all. We are not the owners and makers of all things; God is. What one has, one holds in trust from him and on behalf of others. Our creativity is to mirror his, our generosity his own.
Today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian, The Dollar Value of Attending Church is now online.

We are having a clean-up day tomorrow to get the grounds ready for Sunday's dedication of the gazebo which is the start of our memorial garden. We'll start at 9 a.m. and at noon we'll grill a few hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch and then finish up what little remains to be done. Come for all of it or drop by for what you can do.


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