But greed can take many forms and use many doors to weasel its way into our lives. Somehow, it seems, over the last few years greed has managed to subvert patriotism. Patriotism is a natural and virtuous thing and any of us who have had the opportunity to travel much can’t help but return home thankful for the many blessings we have received. But patriotism like any other good thing can become distorted by sin.
Greed is an inordinate longing for the unnecessary. When we fall prey to greed, in its simplest form, we place what we want ahead of what others need. Greed is the antithesis of the instruction we receive from St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians, “regard others as more important than yourselves.”(2:3) When greed creeps in, legitimate patriotism is transformed into what President Bush recently described as “nativism”,us above all.
We tell ourselves that it isn’t greed by convincing ourselves that we are entitled to a certain life, for many this is the romanticized America of the 1950’s.
As Christians we must be very careful. We must fearlessly examine our consciences for any and all signs of the presence of greed in our hearts. Greed loves to his behind love: love of family, love of country. The good news is that with the grace of God we can root it out.