66. The treasures of indulgences are nets with which one now fishes for the wealth of men.
This is the opposite of the Theses before it. In Theses 65 Luther spoke about using the gospel to bring people into the church where the love of God could fill them. In this Thesis Luther says that indulgences are used by the church to bring in people’s money rather than the people themselves.
Indulgences will not fill the hole that we have in our lives only the gospel can do that. The gospel is this great power, people are changed lives are changed when the gospel is set free. But so often we choose not to use it. The church today may not have indulgences to sell, but they do often become more concerned with the wealth of men than they are with mankind itself. The church should not be looking for more change in the offering plate, they should be looking for more change in the lives of their people. Change comes when we are filled with the Spirit of God.
It is too easy to get caught up in the things of this world, material things. The Pope did not need a more beautiful cathedral and he did not need a more lavish life style but those things had come to matter more than the faith of his people. Today we as individuals get caught up in the materialism of this world and think that all we need is more and more stuff. The church today is not immune to the temptations of the world’s material things “if we had more we could do more”. But the things of this world will not satisfy our desires only God can do that.
Luther was right indulgences will not fill the hole we have in our soul, neither will wealth. Only the love of God has the power to draw us out of darkness and into the light.
Faithful Father Mighty Lord, fill my heart with Your grace and mercy. Give me an extra measure of Your love and show me the way back to You. Lead me Lord and I will follow. In Christ, Amen.