Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Jesus' Economics: "The First Will Be Last and the Last First"

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. - We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” ― Mother Teresa: (1910 – 1997: Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata India)

Gospel Text: (MK 9:30-37)
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
"The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise."
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
"What were you arguing about on the way?"
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
"If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
"Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me."

The world sees things differently - The world loves winners. It has no time for losers. The brightest student gets the scholarship and the great job offers. The best athlete is honored with fame and fortune. The effective manager rises in rank very quickly. Even in the church, the intelligent and able administrator and fundraiser becomes a monsignor or bishop quickly.

The world has no time for those who come last, who aren’t lucky or bright or wealthy or successful. In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to ask ourselves, shall we act in the way the world does?

If honoring the best is meant to inspire and encourage us to imitate them, then it’s good. But if honoring only the best makes us forget the weak and those who have fallen through the cracks, then we fail in generosity. And we forget that before God, we are all weak and sinful, but he treats us all in the same way.

There’s a commercial on TV that starts by saying: “In this world, there are winners… and losers”. And that is true. There are persons that the world sees as failures. Jesus, however, is telling us that with God, there’s no such thing as a loser.

“The first shall be last and the last shall be first”. The generosity of God is the same for all of us. With him, there are no losers, because he loves each of us the same.

If he can be so generous to us despite all our failures and sins, should we not be the same towards others?

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