Sep 9 2020 Reflection
Wednesday 9 September 2020
First Reading: 1 COR 7:25-31
Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
PS 45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17
Gospel Reading: LK 6:20-26
Today’s Note: Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest
Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets
in the same way.But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”
Woe to you who are rich. (Luke 6:24)
Imagine you are a wealthy Jew listening to this small-town rabbi talk about the difference between being rich and being poor. Your crops are flourishing, your herds are increasing each year, your business is doing well. Prosperity is a sign of God’s favor, isn’t it? And yet Jesus is saying, “Blessed are you who are poor. . . . Woe to you who are rich” (Luke 6:20, 24). Is Jesus condemning you for your prosperity?
No. Jesus does not look down on rich people. He was simply saying that wealth can be an obstacle to living a life of loving dependence on your heavenly Father.
Not all of us would fall into the “materially prosperous” category, but anyone can be distracted by money. If we have wealth, we might be lulled into trying to fill ourselves now, to enjoy everything we can now. We might think we can rely on ourselves instead of trusting God to care for the details of our lives. If we are struggling to make ends meet, we might forget that God cares for us now even as he promises an eternal treasure in heaven. We might be fearful to care for the people around us. This is what Jesus was cautioning people about.
God most certainly cares for the rich as much as he does the poor. Jesus is simply exhorting them, and us, to elevate our thinking beyond the here and now. To be generous toward those who have less and to trust God wholeheartedly for what we need. To use our wealth to show those who have less what the Father’s love and care might look like. It’s our preoccupation with selfish desires, our attitude of independence that has no need of God, that grieves him. After all, it’s his nature to bless and satisfy and delight, whether we are rich or poor.
That’s what God wants to do for you today: give you confidence in him. Whatever your financial situation, put your faith in God, not in your current status. He is the only One who can bless you and fill you with joy.
“Holy Spirit, line up my views on life and wealth and trust in God with the Father’s perspective.”