The Teachings of Jesus: Rich and Poor
For the next few days we are going to look at the teachings of Jesus,
particularly where they seem to diverge from what people might have expected.
In Jesus’ time the poor were considered cursed, unable to fulfil the Law properly.
They were not able to afford sacrifices,
they might have had to work on the Sabbath for the Romans.
If they couldn’t follow the Jewish Law many believed they would not be saved.
Jesus reverses people’s assumptions.
For him, it is not the fulfilment of the letter of the Law that is central,
but an attitude of honest humility before God.
The rich may feel they can pay for God’s blessings.
The pious follow the rules and do things ‘properly’.
How often are rich neighbourhoods full of people sealed in their own houses neither giving to others nor wanting anything in return.
Poor neighbourhoods are full of people who recognise their need of each other.
Preparation: Begin by stilling; then dedicating the time of prayer to God and asking God that all you think, feel and imagine are for the glory of God.
Gift: Ask for what you desire. Suggestion: For a love of the poor.
Setting: Imagine Jesus speaking to his disciples, perhaps you are one of them.
Get in touch with their utter astonishment at this teaching.
Matthew 19:23-26 HCSB
Jesus said to His disciples,
“I assure you: It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven!
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and asked,
“Then who can be saved?”
But Jesus looked at them and said,
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Conversation: Talk to Jesus about whatever this prayer brings up in you.
Final Prayer: End with a formal prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father.
Today’s Music: The Cry of the Poor by the St Louis Jesuits
Click for more music from the St Louis Jesuits