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Posts Tagged ‘poverty versus wealth’


2 Corinthians 13: Weakness and Strengthsidewalkcrack-940x6263

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Following on the heels of yesterday’s Noontime we see the continuation of the theme of inversion which we always find when we seek Christ.

When we page through the Book of Sirach we come across many wise words about arrogance. In Sirach 10:7-16 we see that pride is a kind of domination over others: Odious to the Lord and to men is arrogance, and the sin of oppression they both hate.

We struggle for independence and compassion and too often create or find schism and haughtiness.

Let us spend time with Sirach today, and as we do we pray.

Mysterious and incarnate Christ, show us the power of humility and meekness.

Human and divine Jesus, guide us that we might see the corrupting influence of power and prestige.

Obedient and healing Christ, help us to understand that our cross is our pathway to you.

We strive for what we already have and this is the same lure that drew in Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden. We want to be like gods and we do not realize, or do not know or remember, that we find our own divinity in Christ. We do not realize, or do not know or remember, that we are one with God in the Spirit. We do not realize, or do not know or remember, that we have no need of little gods for we are, through the grace and kindness of Christ, one in union with God.

Paul reminds us that our weakness makes us strong, our poverty makes us rich.  This is the wealth we will want to store up. This is the power we will want to wield. Let us remember this message today and all days.


Adapted from a reflection written on June 14, 2008. Click on the image above for posts on perseverance and growth, or visit: http://theoutsidewithin.com/tag/plants/ 

2 corinthians 13

To learn more about the Book of Sirach, visit: http://biblehub.com/dictionary/s/sirach.htm

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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Gerard Seghers: Christ and the Penitents

Gerard Seghers: Christ and the Penitents

Ephesians 2:13

Quite Near

Psalm 13:1: How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

In yesterday’s Noontime we gathered our prayers and petitions to carry them to the one who holds all the answers. Today we gather ourselves to listen to the Word of God.

Ephesians 2:13: In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near.

Paul answers our question of how long we must wait for God to appear when he reminds us that Christ answers our plea with unquestioning patience, indomitable mercy and limitless love. Jesus replies swiftly with his own presence, and with his invitation to join him in his union with the creator. Today we gather ourselves to hear the Word of God.

Luke 10:1-9: The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers few . . . Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way”.

God answers our petition for help by asking us to trust in the plan laid out for our rescue. Today we gather to accept God’s invitation to join in the vital work of the harvest.

Psalm 94:3: How long shall the wicked, O Lord, how long shall the wicked exult?

We have asked how long our suffering will endure . . . and the response to this question is not a pat answer that tells us how many days or weeks or years or eons we must wait for God’s justice to prevail. A close reading of the Gospels tells us what we already know. In the person of Jesus we have all the answer we might need. In our finite world we look for finite solutions and well-defined answers that content us for today, but that have no place in God’s infinite world. In our apocalyptic view of the world we seek a justice that will measure out punishment and reward as if we were all small children, but God asks us to step into something much bigger than the little window we have on the God’s justice.

Psalm 13:1: How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

God does not hide from us. God is with us constantly and everywhere in the person of the rescuing Jesus. God does not forget us. God is within and around us in the person of the healing Spirit. God does not lose hope in us. God protects and guides, cajoles and upholds, saves and teaches, heals and loves us more than we can understand. Despite our faults and infidelities, God persists in waiting, calling, blessing, forgiving and loving.

Psalm 74:9: We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, nor is there any among us who knows how long.

There is no need to ask how long; there is no need to despair for we already have God’s response . . . the surety that God dwells within us, asking for our trust and fidelity, forgiving our missteps and misgivings, calling us to great love and great mercy. In our darkest moment and in our deepest grief . . . God has not been distant or hiding. God has been quite near.

Let us move into the world around us . . . and act in a way that confirms our trust in God.


Wealthy80_WEB190115In 2015, Oxfam produced a study indicating that next year one percent of the world’s population will hold more than half of the world’s wealth. The hungry, the impoverished, the homeless may well ask How Long of God as they manage their daily survival. Read the two views at the links below, and reflect on how each of us might be the presence of God to the marginalized.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/19/global-wealth-oxfam-inequality-davos-economic-summit-switzerland

For information about the 10 most wealthy families in 2021, visit: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/insights/052416/top-10-wealthiest-families-world.asp

Or read more about the global wealth pyramid at: https://www.statista.com/chart/11857/the-global-pyramid-of-wealth/#:~:text=Global%20Wealth&text=According%20to%20a%20new%20Credit,seen%20on%20the%20following%20pyramid.

Seghers image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Seghers

There are voices that oppose the view expressed above. Read this about the thoughts of Sir Martin Sorrell in a 2015 article from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/23/davos-wpp-martin-sorrell-equality-prosperity

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Luke 12:13-21: Healing Greed

Thursday, December 15, 20163e01f-barn

John the Baptist was imprisoned and when he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?” (MSG) This week we are given an opportunity to give our own testimony.

We know that Jesus had healed physical blindness and blindness of the heart. We have witnessed the miracle of Jesus’ cure of lameness, deafness, and lack of speech. In all cases, Jesus concerns himself with the soul as much as – or perhaps more than – the body. We know that Jesus moves in our own lives and the lives of all humans in all times. So one day . . .

Someone out of the crowd said, “Teacher, order my brother to give me a fair share of the family inheritance.” Jesus replied, “Mister, what makes you think it’s any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?” Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”

Knowing that his audience would not understand his words, seeing that they lived in a world that saw wealth as an indication of God’s reward, Jesus told the story often called The Greedy Farmer or The Rich Fool (Luke 12:18-21) If we read his story today, does it speak to us? Does it ask us to change so that we might heal our own greed?

And Jesus concluded, “This is how it is with those who pile up riches for themselves but are not rich in God’s sight.” (GNT)

Do Jesus’ closing words heal or inspire? Do they open our eyes and ears? Do they move our tongues and legs? Do Jesus’ words bring us any consolation or hope?

When we use the scripture links and drop-down menus to explore these verses, we open our ears and eyes. We lose our lameness and our fear of witnessing about Jesus’ Good News.

For a reflection on The Greedy Farmer, click on the image above or visit: https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/6459/

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