One very serious question we should ask ourselves as we listen to The Sacred Scriptures today is, Do we reflect on the many gifts and talents that have been given to us by God ? What if we were to experience a sudden challenge or change to the lifestyle we presently have? Maybe an unexpected death in the family or grace financial problems. Have we been diligent and generous enough to those who are in need, so that should the tables be turned, we could expect the same courtesies from our neighbors?
Our first reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos sites example of a lifestyle change occurring to the complacent people in Zion. This brings to mind one of the Beatitudes, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. If it ever occurred that we would some day be in need of mercy, it should be rewarding for us to obtain mercy. Living our lives by acknowledging God’s mercy toward us is an honorable task. If pursued with humility, showing mercy can be a source of joy both in this life and help us achieve the promise of eternal life.
Saint Paul makes the observation quite clear in today’s letter to Timothy when he says, You, man of God, purse righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. To pursue and develop such virtues can present quite a challenge to our western civilization’s lifestyle that emphasizes personal advancement and accumulation of worldly treasure. Think of the many people in the world who will go to bed hungry this evening or those greatly in need of justice or understanding.
It may be a challenge that we think we can do so little about when we consider the many agencies already attempting to serve the needy of this world. One thing that is in the reach of every Christian regardless of our economic condition is to be mindful of Mother Teresa’s challenge: Perhaps the greatest poverty in this world in not the lack of food, but the lack of love. People are hungry for companionship, solidarity, and intimacy. Loneliness is the cause of the greatest hunger in the hearts of many; no one should experience loneliness when the grace of God has filled our hearts.
Today’s Gospel reading makes the effort to educate us on the consequences of ignoring those in need that we may encounter but fail to see every day in our lives. Blessed are those who hunger for justice, for they shall have their fill . Seek justice in this life and it will be fulfilled in life eternal. May God continue to bless us !
Your brother in Christ