Today’s Thoughts: We often think when we hear stories like the one about the “Rich Fool” in today’s Gospel (Luke 12: 13-21) that Jesus doesn’t like those who are rich and that is not true. When Jesus talks about wealth, possessions, status and power it is not to condemn them but merely to challenge all who find themselves in possession of them. Jesus wants to know what we are going to do with what we possess. Do we use wealth, possessions, status and power to make ourselves comfortable or do we use them to help others? What we do with what we have is always the question.
As Jesus points out today, we cannot take it with us. As a friend of mine always says, “You never see a U-Haul behind a hearse!" In other words, you cannot take it with you so what are you going to do with it?
Pope Francis is constantly challenging us to care about the poor, the needy, the less fortunate, the immigrants and the struggling. This challenge is nothing new it has been part of our faith from the beginning. Care and concern for the poor flows out of the Gospel. It is the same message that Jesus presents today. In the early Church the question of those in need was always part of the Church's focus. Pope Francis is just reminding us of what Jesus has said all along.
As Passionists, St. Paul of the Cross wanted us to be called “The Poor of Jesus.” He wanted us to seek out all those struggling in in the Passion of Jesus. Our Rule, our Constitutions of Life, talk about our option for the poor. They should be our first concern, especially those who encounter the Passion of Jesus in their life today.
Wealth, power, possessions and status are not evil. They are not counter to the Gospel; unless we fail to share, unless we only think of ourselves, unless we let injustice and poverty go unchallenged. Do we use the gifts, talents, possessions, wealth and power to make the world for all people a better place? In other words, by living our life are we rich in what matters to God?
Have a great Monday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...