24th Sunday Ordinary Time – On Forgiving the Poor and Rich
Last Sunday’s gospel set the scene – another comes to me to ask forgiveness. How many times? Well, we heard the answer.
Here’s a thought: Do we in mainstream America need to forgive the poor for needing so much? Which would be a better response than simply resenting the poor. Just sayin’.
This is indeed a First World Problem. Compassion fatigue is its diagnosis.
There seems to be a universe of needs now. Recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and forest fires have fostered a flurry of requests for help. Congress’ promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act seems partly based upon exasperation for the needs of the elderly and poor.
The Church of the Gesu where I serve has taken an official position against pan-handling in and around the church since a number of them have become disruptive and threatening to parishioners. It’s difficult…
Forgiving the poor and needy would look like this:
- Take note of the ways you and I resent our own personal, existential poverty
- And how “never having enough” or “being enough” influences how we see others
- Notice how we look at the slivers in the eyes of others through the log in our eyes
- Thank the needy for revealing to us our precious and terrible vulnerability and begin to explore this part of our lives to discover how Christ is present in those areas we disdain and avoid.
- Forgiveness, then, looks like reconciliation and communion with the needy.