This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Who gets richer? The rich...or the poor?

Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from themLuke 8:18
Given the macro economic issues of the presidential election--redistribution, etc.--this passage from the Gospel of Luke can be easily misunderstood. Taken out of context, it can seem to mean that the rich are blessed by God and therefore will get even more blessings while those who are poor are not in God's favor and will get even less than the little they have. Recalling that Luke's version of the beatitudes is very direct and uncompromising--Luke write of the "poor" and not Matthew's less direct "poor in spirit"--it seems unlikely that he would intend that message, even though some have found that message in his words.
What is much more likely and clear from the full context is that Luke is writing about those who truly listen to the words of Jesus and put them into action in their lives.
The verse in question is preceded by the admonition not to hide your light under a basket but to let it shine out, not to keep secret the life of God's spirit in a faithful follower but to let your life and actions bring that interior life out into the open.
Thus one who has much is exactly one who truly hears the words of Jesus and lives the life to which he calls us to its fullest. Such a person has the riches of eternal life even here in this life. Such a person by living out such a life will increase God's life within by responding even more fully to God's offer of life and love.
The one, on the other hand, who fails to hears the words of Christ or who keeps them within as personal and individual will not really have the life one suspects and by not living it out will lose even the little one thinks one has. So in the often upside down world of the Reign of God and the Good News announced by Jesus the Christ,
The rich in the life of the Divine do get richer in that life and those whose ability to hear and act on the words of Jesus is compromised by the things of this world become even more impoverished.
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Location:Charissa Run,Rochester,United States

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