for Sunday, September 29, 2013
Once again, today, we are reminded that we must have concern for the poor,
whoever they are. Sometimes we get used to having the poor and then we
forget them. The rich man in the Gospel, from Saint Luke today, had
clearly grown accustomed to have the poor man at his gate and no longer
even thought about him.
What poverty have we become used to in our lives? Are there needy people
around that we have become used to and so ignore now? It does not have to
be material poverty. There are plenty of people who are poor in education,
poor in culture, poor in human formation, poor in spiritual formation, poor
in understand the ways of the world, etc. There is poverty all around us
and we can ignore it or we can begin to respond to it with the love and
care of Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Amos, in the first reading today, is proclaiming the same
message. Those who have so much of the best of the things in this world
can become totally insensitive to those who have nothing or very little.
Are you and I insensitive? And it is not even you that I must worry about.
It is myself. Have I become insensitive to the needs of others, to the
cry of the poor - no matter what kind of poverty it is?
The second reading today, from the First Letter to Timothy, speaks clearly
of a way to avoid becoming insensitive to the poverty of others: pursue
righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete
well for the faith.
The more spiritually sensitive we are, the more that we follow Jesus
Christ, the more we become aware of the poor. If we are not aware of the
poor and not going anything to help the poor, it is a clear sign that our
following of Jesus is not yet strong enough or that we are not listening to
Him or that we have taken a wrong turn spiritually. There is no way
honestly to follow Christ and not love the poor.
Our righteousness must always be a righteousness of love - a preferential
love for the poor and for our enemies because this is what Jesus asks of
us. He tells us with great clarity: love the poor and the outcast and
love your enemies!
It is our faith itself that tells us to develop devotion, faith, love,
patience, and gentleness - and the test is our love for the poor and for our
enemies. You and I are here today to worship the Lord our God. If we do
not love the poor and our enemies, then we cannot worship this God who has
called us in Christ Jesus.
Let us give thanks to the God who calls us. Let us pray for the spiritual
wisdom to know the poor and our enemies. May our love for them form us in
Christ Jesus. Amen.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Amos 6.1a, 4-7
Second Reading: 1 Timothy 6.11-16
Gospel: Luke 16.19-31
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: