Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.
Mark 10:17 – 30
The story of the “rich young man” reminds us of how difficult it can be to “sell what we have and give to the poor.” “He had “many possessions.” Even if we are not excessively affluent by the stands of our nation, by the standards of the world most of us are considered very affluent. We consume a disproportionate share of the earth’s resources. Like the rich young man, our nation as a whole certainly has “many possessions” and seems we find it difficult to “sell them and give to the poor.” Accumulation of wealth and economic domination of other nations and groups seems to be a powerful temptation to our nation and our way of behaving. The scriptures are certainly giving us a lot to think about as individuals and as a world community…Are we being called to reevaluate how we live and what we consider most important?
Education for Justice
Teach me to live simply.
What possessions do you find hardest to share?
Are we even asking the right questions about our life styles?
The times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.
It is not wrong to want to live better; what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards “having” rather than “being”, and which wants to have more, not in order to be more but in order to spend life in enjoyment as an end in itself.
John Paul II
Do not let a desire for wealth cause you to become so consumed by your work that you prevent happiness for yourself and your family.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Nearly half of all American children receive food stamp benefits at some point before they reach the age of 20. Among African-Americans the figure is much higher: 90 percent! One in seven Americans is currently enrolled in the food stamp program. This number has nearly doubled, to 18 million, from pre-2009 recession figures.
National Catholic Reporter
We ask forgiveness for the widening gulf between rich and poor,
For the use of money as a measure of all things,
For the culture of self-gratification,
For the continuing disparities between those that have so much and those who have so little.
And for the suffering of those people who are excluded from the table of abundance.
The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the state because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government.
We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.
There are only so many material things you can have before it becomes boring.
I am convinced that material things can contribute a lot to making one’s life pleasant, but, basically, if you do not have very good friends and relatives who matter to you, life will be really empty and sad and material things cease to be important.
I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.
We should never let material things get ahead of God or become so important in our lives that we can’t walk away from them if He tells us to. Anything you own that has a hold on you is a problem.
Lets be cautious about relying so much on material things that we have no energy left for the spiritual aspects of our lives.
James A. Forbes