Rich Man, Poor Man

March 29, 2014 at 10:10 am

The readings for today’s liturgy reinforce the Courage to Change reading from today ( see post immediately below):

“Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings.  Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord .”    The Bible often presents life in stark terms.  You are forced to make a decision.  You can clearly see the implications of one’s choices.  This quote reminds me again of where an individual finds the source of their self- worth.  Is it in the affirmation of others or is it in God?  Another stark choice is presented in the New Testament reading which asks us whether we will care for the poor man at our door or ignore him.

Whether the Hebrew scriptures or our New Testament, the Bible frequently wages  what is called “class warfare” by some today.  You are not allowed to be comfortable with the idea of chasing money or building security for oneself.  Recall the parable of the farmer who builds a second silo for his grain so that he may enjoy the bread while others are in need, but dies before the silo is completed.    The poor may be more visible in India, but they are present everywhere in the world.  They may be isolated or sheltered where they cannot be seen frequently in the US.  The Bible keeps them ever before us reminding us to take care of them.  “Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘ there was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.  And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.’”  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that we should give to all who beg.  He encourages us to share our bounty or experience of God’s abundance. God is the source of all.  We are the fiduciaries of what we receive.  It is not really ours.  We must use it well.

Lord help us to discern your way this day.  Your thoughts are above our thoughts.  Your ways are above our ways.  Help us be faithful stewards of what you have given us.  Let us not be fools who are separated easily from their money, but let us not cling to it either out of fear or insecurity.  Let us be prudent and wise with its use and spend it as you would have us spend it.  Change our frame of reference, our paradigm,  our view of the world as it needs to be opened up or broadened to accommodate You .  Use this Lent, to purify and cleanse us so that we may see You in others and find Your way.