September 6, 2015
Jas 2: 1-5
My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
“Did not God choose those are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?”(James 2: 5). Political scientists and psychologists, however, remind us of the dehumanizing effect of long-term poverty and social inequality upon human beings with little or no other choice of life. So poverty as a social ill should be eliminated as far as possible.
What kind of poverty then should be sought as a key spiritual value and goal in life? Keep this in mind. Money in itself is not an evil; the way that it is used makes it good or evil for those with more money than they here and now realistically need. To quote Thornton Wilder in his play The Matchmaker
, “Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.”
—Fr. Joseph Bracken, S.J. is an emeritus professor of theology at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH.
Lord Jesus, from the start
You invite ordinary people to come to where you live.
When they come, you welcome them
and call them to labor and rejoice with you.
You are the most beautiful among all men,
and I hardly believe you want me for your friend.
You are powerful, Lord.
Draw me more and more into your friendship
and lead me along the way you took with friends.
—Joseph Tetlow, SJ
Please share the Good Word with your friends!