Tuesday, September 25, 2018

“I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor… I truly believe that when the rich meet the poor, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end.”

"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty." – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997: Founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata)

Scripture Text: (PRV 21:1-6, 10-13)
Like a stream is the king's heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart–
the tillage of the wicked is sin.

The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.

Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.

When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.

Today’s First Reading from Mass is from the Book of Proverbs. A “proverb” is a very short saying—often only one sentence long—that reveals some little bit of wisdom. Almost every culture in the world, and throughout time, has its own proverbs. In our own country, one of the Founding Fathers—Benjamin Franklin—spent a lot of his time creating proverbs for the first Americans to reflect on: such as, “A stitch in time saves nine”, or “A penny saved is a penny earned.” These proverbs, if we reflect on them, can help us be smarter in the way that we lead our lives in this world.

The proverbs that we hear in the Bible, though, come from God. These proverbs are not just about helping us lead a better life in this world: the Book of Proverbs also helps us get to the world to come, which is Heaven.

Today, we might take the very last sentence of today’s First Reading: “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor / will himself also call and not be heard.” What does this mean? Is this proverb talking about you? Who are the poor in my midst, and what can I do to help them?

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