No, I am not joining the retail world in an early preparation for Christmas as I saw at the stores this past week. I am asking if you hear what this week’s gospel is telling us: like the rich man who wished to warn his brothers lest they fall into eternal torment, we need to listen to what God speaks to us through the prophets of old and through Jesus Christ and his Church today. The rich man went about his life enjoying all that he had but was blind to the poor man on his own doorstep. And because he did not show compassion and mercy to the poor, he was left to eternal torment while the poor man was enjoying eternal life with Abraham, the Father of our Faith.
We must listen!
We must take to heart what we hear in the Word of God. We will not always be able to respond immediately to what we hear, however, taking in the Word of God and carrying it with us more like Jesus. Formed in Christ and his teaching, we will become more prepared to recognize the poor among us. It is then that we can discern what I am not saying that we are to go on a hunt to identify the poor in our area; rather, we simply need to open our hearts to the plight of others. At times zone in our response to the poor. We are called to care about all of God’s ways to show compassion to the poor as there are poor among us. The poor are not always on the street or in foreign lands; sometimes the poor are within our own families. To show mercy and compassion could mean we have to forgive someone, reconcile with them, accept them for who they are, flaws and all and discontinue judging “why they are the way they are.” God’s people are diverse; diverse in color, in creed, in life experience, in intelligence, in physical ability and in opportunity. As Christians we need to hear the call of the poor, for Scripture - God’s own word tells us “blessed are the poor.”
We will find our blessings in this life and beyond when we open our hearts and our minds, when we listen and act. What is God calling you to in regard to the poor? Perhaps an open heart, awareness, love, compassion, mercy? Let us pray that we might hear God’s Word, absorb it and live it!
May God bless our efforts,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC