Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Give to the Poor
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Matthew 19:13-22
My daughter Emily works for an organization which daily feeds the hungry an the homeless and this time of year gathers volunteers to prepare Holiday dinners. This year has been especially hard, as there are many more hungry and homeless and less people with lots of extra income. It is always astounding though how many angels appear and how often the largest gifts come from the most unlikely sources. God is always moving hearts, one by one to change the world by feeding the poorest among us.
Jesus gathered up the children and reminded his followers how important it was for all of us to be like children. Then a young man with everything came to him, going away sad when Jesus suggested he share his wealth with the poor. His riches were standing in the way of his compassion, his possessions were blocking his heart. We are reminded that when we are stuck and distraught, we are invited by God to offer our treasure to others, sharing what we have. This small activity somehow changes our world, and unblocks out hearts and minds.
Today I ask God to help me open my heart and deepen my spirit by giving of myself. May the possessions and treasures I have be small compared to the love I share today. May we all grow deeper in love with God as we open ourselves to the needs of those least among us.