Poverty as a Choice


Two days ago, Jesus declared:
“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? 
No, I tell you, but rather division.” 

Yesterday, he told the young man:
“If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.

Today, Jesus said to his disciples:

“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.”

Are riches really that bad?
Just consider, there is inherently unjust when the richest one percent of the world’s population owns more than what the lower fifty percent has.
Or, there is something not right when the three richest men in the US (Gates, Bezos, Warren) own as much wealth as the bottom half of the US population, or 160 million people. Any one of these three is has more wealth than entire countries among the lower fifty percent of the world’s countries.

Gates and Buffet sees the moral crisis in their owning such an obscene amount of wealth. they are ready to give away what they have through their philanthropy. But this will hardly solve the problem.

Even now, there are many who are willing to sell their soul to the devil to get to riches they lust after. They are will to steal, kill, con, do whatever it takes to get their hands on riches. And the world condones and even celebrated their success. Such people exist everywhere – in business, in entertainment, in politics and government and yes, even in churches and religion.

So are we in a hopeless situation?
Today’s Gospel offers us this consolation”
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”

Have the words of God fallen on deaf ears?
There are still does who choose to hear, listen and follow his Words.
Their numbers are small but they are around.

Anabelle and I had a friend who was a Poor Clare cloistered nun.
I remembered one time she was telling us that they do not change clothes everyday
but wear the same set of habits for several days.
They would sleep with their whole habit on so that they do not waste time
dressing and getting ready for their prayer times.
I asked if this was to save on clothing or on the laundry expenses,
knowing they had vows of poverty.
She said it was indeed because of their vow of poverty but not to save but to be in solidarity with the real poor, who may have just one set of clothing in their life
or who may not have anything to wear at all.

As long as there as Tessa’s who take on poverty as a choice,
I will not lose hope and I will always believe that good will triumph over evil
and that love will eventually conquer all the hatred and anger in the world.

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