The Seventh Commandment requires us to abstain from a wide range of activities that violate another personís personal property and wealth. As we will learn, having money is not a sin. It is our desire for and love and attachment to money that is a sin.
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Christ Expelling the Money-Changers from the Temple
by Nicolas Colombel, 1682, Saint Louis Art Museum
The Seventh Commandment forbids all unjust taking or keeping of another’s property, and as such, many prohibitions fall under the heading of the 7th Commandment. Remember often the words of the holy Apostle Paul: “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10).
Our Lord Himself in the Temple expelled the money-changers, who used the Temple as a means to generate a profit. Only certain currency was allowed inside, and the money-changers — using a system similar to exchange rates — heaped up for themselves large profits. Their hearts were turned from the worship of God and as such, Our Lord drove them away from His Father’s House. Understanding the importance of the physical temple and, by extension, a church building, a bishop while consecrating the Church will say many prayers including, “The house of the Lord is founded on the summit of the mountains, and is exalted over all the hills, and all the people shall come to it. And they shall say: Glory be to thee, O Lord” .
In reference to Our Lord’s words on mammon on the Sermon on the Mount, St. Augustine writes the following:
Then, further, the statement which follows, No man can serve two masters, is to be referred to this very intent, as He goes on to explain, saying: For either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will submit to the one, and despise the other. And these words are to be carefully considered; for who the two masters are he immediately shows, when He says, You cannot serve God and mammon. Riches are said to be called mammon among the Hebrews. The Punic name also corresponds: for gain is called mammon in Punic. But he who serves mammon certainly serves him who, as being set over those earthly things in virtue of his perversity, is called by our Lord the prince of this world. A man will therefore either hate this one, and love the other, i.e. God; or he will submit to the one, and despise the other. For whoever serves mammon submits to a hard and ruinous master: for, being entangled by his own lust, he becomes a subject of the devil, and he does not love him; for who is there who lo... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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