About for Love or Money
This For Love or Money lesson plan on wealth will help youth consider how material possessions and wealth can be an obstacle to discipleship.
Game for this Wealth Lesson Plan
Start by having a Camel through the Eye of a Needle race. In this race, youth get down on all fours with a saddlebag to race through an obstacle course. See Camel through the Eye of a Needle race for details.
Follow up with some questions:
- Was this race difficult? Why?
- Would it have been easier without the saddlebags with the balloons in them?
- What other strategies helped? What didn’t work?
Scripture Reading for Love or Money
Read the Gospel:
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
[Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”]Mark 10:17-30 or Mark 10:17-27
Discussion for Lesson Plan on Wealth
Jesus is telling us to be careful about wealth. “The eye of a needle” is an expression for a very narrow gate. Jesus wants us to know that being focused on material goods will make it difficult to walk down the path of discipleship.
The young man who asked the question was not a bad person. He was following the commandments. But Jesus was asking for his whole heart. And that can be a difficult thing to give away, especially if it seems like you are being asked to give up a lot.
Wealth in itself is not bad. Jesus does not say that. But attachment to wealth can lead us astray. If we hold on too tightly to our money and possessions, they can become a false god. We can start thinking that all of the blessings in our lives are because of our own merits and forget that all we have comes from God and belongs to God.
St. Ignatius of Loyola spoke about indifference to wealth and other blessings in our lives.
God created human beings to praise, reverence, and serve God, and by doing this, to save their souls.
God created all other things on the face of the earth to help fulfill this purpose.
From this it follows that we are to use the things of this world only to the extent that they help us to this end, and we ought to rid ourselves of the things of this world to the extent that they get in the way of this end.
For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things as much as we are able, so that we do not necessarily want health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long rather than a short life, and so in all the rest, so that we ultimately desire and choose only what is most conducive for us to the end for which God created us.The First Principle and Foundation – From the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
St. Ignatius is telling us that we should not be fixed on obtaining wealth or goods, along with the other things he mentions. This leaves us free to desire what God wants for us.
For example, if my weekend job makes it impossible for me to go to Sunday Mass, then I have a choice to make. I can choose to continue working there and not fulfill my Sunday obligation. Or I can tell my boss that I need time off for Mass and trust that whatever happens, God will provide for me.
We do not know what happened to the young man in this story. Perhaps he went home and never paid attention to Jesus again. But maybe, after reflection, he did take leave of his possessions to follow Jesus. We all have opportunities to make the right choice.
Reflection Questions on For Love or Money
- Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt like your possessions were getting in the way of discipleship?
- What are some things we can do to help us become less attached to material goods?
- What can we do to thank God for the things we have?
Challenge for This Week
This week’s challenge may be difficult. Choose something of your own to give away to charity. But don’t choose something you don’t want or never use. Instead, give away something you use on a regular basis and really like having. And don’t rush out and replace it right away.
Close by praying the Suscipe or another prayer.
Resources Related to For Love or Money
“He asked people to think especially about the many children around the world who are dying of hunger, or who do not have access to education, because of the unequal distribution of wealth.”
How can we learn to have a generous heart?
- Contribute to the Sunday collection
- Donate monthly to a charity
- Save for the future
Read the article for more information.