Jesus was born among the poor; shepherds tending their sheep while he was wrapped in swaddling clothes sharing an enclosure with animals. His preaching was to the downtrodden; prostitutes, tax-collectors, and Samaritans, all outcasts which made them poor in the eyes of God. Poor in the sense they had no depth for understanding God. Yet, these are to whom He was sent.
Who are the poor among us, those not so much without ready cash but where the absence of real knowledge of who God is? As we appear to gain great strides in technology and recognize our children’s superior understanding about science and math that would leave most of us mature adults in the dust. We stand in awe of what we are leaving our prodigy to. What type of future will they inherit as long as their only goal will be accumulating wealth without God?
I will submit a question to current parents with children marrying and raising their own children. How many have continued with church attendance or are slow in having your grandchildren baptized, if at all? It seems to be a real dilemma keeping them interested in what we grew up with in the church as opposed to their current quest for profit, and prestige. Too busy for God?
Not too far back it was recognized that only 20% of registered catholics actually participated in church activities outside the Sacraments. Now it is difficult to promote interest beyond one hour a week for many. And with Corona-19 those numbers have fallen dramatically. We can’t blame the pandemic for a fall from interest, but more than ever the future of our church will depend on any possible way we can impress on those we carefully raised to reconnect with God.
Does anyone seem to care anymore about theTheological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity? Their meaning and influence on our everyday lives has never changed? It’s become a past theme like In God we Trust. Words that are just that, words without substance for far too many!
We could be approaching a vacuum in Spiritual Understanding and too many people are trapped inside with no way out. This is what happens when faith means nothing without a deep adherence to God.
Do you remember the movie “The Sixth Sense”? The young boy tells Bruce Willis, who plays the leading role and is murdered, that he talks with dead people. “The problem is they don’t know they’re dead”. This is the scenario with people who have lost their way by losing their faith. They act out a sense of church, but they don’t know they have lost the essence of God in their lives. These are the ones who are in a vacuum. These are the very poor among us. Where is their hope? What has happened to their faith? How do they identify real love?
Many people came to Jesus for healing, but when he encountered them it was their faith that healed them. The difference was they sought the Lord and received his grace through faith. I am afraid there will be multitudes who won’t find the healing they need since they no longer remember who it is that will answer their needs. That is what poverty looks like in the deepest spiritual sense.
“Better to be poor and helpless with the Wisdom of God than to be rich and powerful and without God’s Mercy. “ RBH
As a note of reference: I previously wrote three articles in 2017 related to poverty and the poor, but this one has a more advanced theme and not to be confused with the others.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Fall 2020