Jesus said, “Blessed are you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.” Lk 6:20-26
Did you ever notice how really difficult it is to express concern or offer help to people who are comfortable in their wealth or their well-being, compared with the ease at which people who are struggling in life accept a helping hand or a word of hope? (And please keep in mind that I said difficult, not impossible.)
Jesus discussed this difficulty with His disciples in terms of Beatitudes. His implications were: blessed are those in need, for they are open to accepting help, and making changes, and listening to others – and even offering help to others, despite their hardships. But woe to those who are comfortable, because they will usually not listen to anyone.
It reminded me of a little story:
Once, there were two boats floating down the rapids of a river. One was a yacht and the other was a little log raft. The people in the yacht were drinking and partying and having a grand old time. While the people on the little wooden raft were rowing, and balancing, and doing all they could to miss the boulders and stay afloat.
When the yacht caught up with the little raft, the people on the raft yelled out to those on the yacht to slow down, because there was a treacherous waterfalls coming up ahead. They tried to explain that if they stayed close to the shore, they could avoid the falls. But the happy, drunk, care-free people in the yacht, just mocked and laughed at them, and ignored their warning, as they continued on their disastrous way.
When the raft reached the other side of the waterfalls, the people on it noticed huge chunks of the yacht floating by. And lying on one of the chunks of wood was the half-drowned and tattered body of a young woman. They cried out to help her. But when they reached out to give her aid, she just pushed them away saying, “What help can YOU possibly give to me!”
If we ever get to feeling like we’re floating on a raft of poverty, or loneliness, or even just hunger for Good News in the rapids of a world filled with war, and abuse and nonsense; when we see God’s Church getting more and more empty, and that yacht of self-indulgence getting more and more crowded; that’s when we hang on just a little bit tighter, beloved, because we know that, as Jesus promised, we are Blessed . . .
Blessed in our poverty, but wealthy beyond compare in Love, when we keep that raft of our faith close to the shore of Jesus.
______________________________________end of post