Joseph Nyarko Asare of Obuasi Catholic Diocese)
Reflection for the Week, July 25-August 1st
In almost all the houses Jesus ate, the meals were prepared for many and not only for Jesus. The implication is that people who invited Jesus were resourceful enough to cater for a relatively large following. He even asked the disciples to choose and live in families and houses that could sustain and provide for them in their entire stay in that community (Cf. Matthew 10:11).
The call to modesty implies the availability of plenty and resourcefulness. You are called to live a life that does not project personal abilities and possessions. This is modesty. The basic sense here is that you are permitted to develop abilities and build wealth as far as you do not project these above God and human life.
The Master spoke truth in rich homes, to rich hosts, and other rich guests. Jesus criticised rich Martha, corrected rich Simeon, the Pharisee, embraced the rich tax collector Zacchaeus, spoke plainly to leading Pharisees but ate the best from their tables, enjoyed good night rests in their houses, and received their donations. Jesus had Judas as a personal treasure and used a furnished Upper Room of somebody’s house for the last supper. God want to be at the centre of everything and every life. He does not hate the rich and their riches; He wants to be the lord of our lives and every possession and ability.
Jesus is “happier” when all is well with us. Note that God made Solomon rich even when the young king has not prayed for it. Getting all the others is very legitimate for those who have sought the kingdom and its righteousness.
Like any other loving person will do, remaining with the poor does not mean you want them to remain poor, consoling the one weeping is not an endorsement of sorrow, and welcoming sinners is not a petmission for sinning. God treats sinners, the poor, needy, afflicted, marginalised, etc. well because they are human beings not because they are vulnerable. Their vulnerability is not the underlying condition for the Lord’s attention. No, God has a special care for them because they are human beings without much care and love.
Jesus preaches the positive message of developing, increasing, and enlarging what we have. He once said that more will be given those who has; and those without will be denied the little they possess. Holiness of life must never be seen as an endorsement of wretchedness and low standard living.
Have you checked the durability of Church buildings, the system of care for priests and religious, and how we ensure the healthcare, safety, protection, and empowerment of the Ministers of the Gospel? These are Christians like you; seeking these same kind of “good living” presented as “basic-decent-care”. It is godly and Christian to do same and seek the best life too.
Missionaries and mission is sponsored by people in other continents or with the means to support. These are Christians like you and children of the same God we worship. God want both your liberated spirit and body. Jesus preached both the corporeal and spiritual works of mercy. He cares about the body as much as He cares about your spirit. He calls your body His temple and dwelling place.
Learn how to be holy and prayerful. Also, learn how to exercise and keep fit, how to invest and make money, how to live well and joyfully. Indeed, this will offer you the best opportunity to serve God deeply and intensely.