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Economic Reform: Will You Go Away Sad as Well?

Devotional Thought of the Day:

16  Once a man came to Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what good thing must I do to receive eternal life?” 17  “Why do you ask me concerning what is good?” answered Jesus. “There is only One who is good. Keep the commandments if you want to enter life.” 18  “What commandments?” he asked. Jesus answered, “Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; 19  respect your father and your mother; and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 20  “I have obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else do I need to do?” 21  Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” 22  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich. Matthew 19:16-22 (TEV)

636 You are constantly talking about the need to change and reform things. Good… Reform yourself! For you need it badly, and already you will have begun the great reform. In the meantime, I shall not be putting too much faith in your proclamations of reform. (1)

It seems that Rush Limbaugh has taken it upon himself to criticze the pope for not being Christian, for not being faithful to scripture. Well the claim is that the Pope is a Marxist because of the way he interprets scripture.  I haven’t read more than one article on it, so I am not sure where Limbaugh’s points are.  I don’t see the Pope being much of a Marxist, just one who would have Christians love the world as Christ did, taking on the form of a servant…

As I read the article, as I see all the posts about people wanting to reform our government, I have to wonder when we will slow down and consider the advice of St Josemaria, and reform our own budgets, our own spending habits.  Will we hear the last “commandment” the man heard Jesus ask about?  The one that where we considering loving our neighbor as we love ourselves?  Will we desire the “perfection” of giving up all we have to the poor, and following Christ.  Would consider giving more than just our hand-me-downs and loose coins to the Salvation Army?

If we take the scriptures in their fulness,what God wants to see develop from within this people is the same kind of love that Christ has shown, the same eagerness to sacrifice for others as Christ did.  You can’t but see this in the way the Old Testament prophets confronted Israel over their treatment of the single moms (widows) and orphans.  You see it in the commands of how one treats the foreignors, the responsibility of families – even multiple times removed, to care for those in their family.  You see it again in the gospels (the Good Samaritan, the Sheep and the Goats) , and in Romans and 1 Corinthians 12, and the entire epistle of 1 John.  This love for neighbor, this willingness to be with them in their brokenness, this love for them isn’t one that is mandated, but comes from a heart that beats in symphony to Christ’s heart.

As I write this, I myself am changing in my attitude.  Maybe the reason for coming across the article wasn’t for me to defend Christianity against Limbaugh’s American Civil Religion.  But to get me to think about my riches and how they are going to be used.  Of what I can give away to the poor, of how our finacnes are used. How can I grow in likeness to the Lord who gave all for me?

Heavy thoughts during these early days of Advent…..but ones that I invite you to share in a well.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wijna...

The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wijnants (1670) shows the Good Samaritan tending the injured man. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank God that He walks with us through them, and I pray we trust in Him enough to stay and follow and enjoy His presence, rather than walk away sad….

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2679-2682). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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