Friday of the Fifteenth Week In Ordinary Time
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath.”
Strength through Weakness. What makes Christ so strong? His humility. His poverty. His obedience. When I was a child, I didn’t like this Gospel passage. It seemed to me that the Lord was poor. I didn’t like poor people. It seemed like he was at the mercy of others. I didn’t like people who begged.
Now, after having grown up (a bit), I have grown to love this Gospel passage. It is just another of a series of paradoxes regarding life in general and the workings of God and men.
This morning I saw a video from the Huffington Post. Watch it. It is humorous in the sheer ignorance of their reporters when it comes to the Roman Catholic Church. But it is also beautiful regarding how a simple and humble Pastor can make a difference in the lives of those who honestly seek the truth.
I want a poor Church. “I would like to see a Church that is poor and is for the poor” –Pope Francis. This is what most people can relate to, and for good reason: this is the condition of most of the people throughout the world. They are poor, not because contraception is unavailable; not because abortion is unavailable; not because food is unavailable; but rather because corruption is widespread; weapons are widely used; and sin is everywhere.
Opponents of the Church have been calling on the Vatican to sell all its art and give the money to the poor. Unfortunately, the first rule of poverty is not to own something but to own nothing. The Pope owns nothing. He does not own the Vatican. No Pope ever will, and so they cannot sell what does not belong to them. However, Mark Zukerberg does own a majority of the shares of Facebook and is worth 14 billion dollars; Bill Gates is worth 72.7 billion dollars; Carlos Slim is worth 70 billion dollars; Warren Buffett is worth 60 billion dollars; David Koch is worth 43 billion dollars; Larry Ellison is worth 41 billion dollars; Alice Walton is worth 32 billion dollars; Michael Bloomberg is worth 27 billion dollars; George Soros is worth 22 billion dollars. Of course I could go on and on and on…
The worth of these individuals may very well be equivalent to the “worth” of some nations!
Now most of these individuals do give something in return, but if they were to give it all. Oh my, “imagine no possessions. Imagine all the people living life in peace. Well, you may say that I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday [they] will join us and the world will be as one.”
I call upon all these individuals to give it all away. Do it. Just do it!
But if you won’t, then maybe they can start doing some simple things; like, no longer traveling in a fancy car or private plane or living in very expensive and fancy “home.” Remember what the Pope said: If you ever get tempted…then just think of all the poor and starving people.
Now it is true that our opponents would like to see a poor Church; but in honesty, they would prefer to have a dead Church, like a dead Savior. Fortunately, they won’t get either.
Pope Francis is the answer to so many prayers as well as so many votes. He is the prince that prefers to live like a pauper! How’s that for something new!!! Now imagine all our Presidents, Kings, CEOs, CFOs COOs, CAOs, etc. living like paupers? Imagine… Well, it definitely won’t happen by imagining there is no heaven or hell. We might as well imagine no salaries or prisons.
I often meditate on this Gospel passage. It is a wonderful reminder of how the Creator of everything is a simple and humble God; how He naturally interacts with His creation; and how He does not frown upon man, but actually invites him to participate in His story of salvation.