Serving Two Masters

A title referring to a saying of Christ in the famous Sermon on the Mount. This pronouncement of Jesus consisting of a single verse is found both in Matthew 6, and in Luke 16. In full the verse reads:
"No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
These words fit in perfectly with the doctrine given just previously in the discourse in which Christ teaches detachment from riches. Mammon signifies "riches" and "wealth." The first meaning of the word signifies "to be the slave of." The commands of God are absolutely opposed to the commands of mammon. Mammon is personified to bring into relief the antagonism between the service of God and that of riches and of the world. Man cannot give his thoughts and affections to God and to the things of earth at one and the same time. He who abuses wealth becomes its slave. He who serves God makes wealth his servant. The Church has this important pronouncement of the Master read each year on the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.

New Catholic Dictionary

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