(Part 23)


May 23, 2016

Today’s readings:

1 Peter 1:3-9

Psalm 111:1-10

Mark 10:17-27

What is our goal in life? It should be to make it to heaven. This is “the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pt 1:9). Now according to what Jesus says, one criterion for whether we will make it to heaven or not is how we treat the least of our brethren.

God has a covenant with His people, by which He desires that we make it to heaven, to be with Him eternally. Part of this covenant is His provision for His people, whom He is committed to care for. “He gives food to those who fear him, he remembers his covenant forever.” (Ps 111:5). What is important to God is justice and equity. “The works of his hands are true and just” (Ps 111:7a). Justice is giving to others what is their due. What is due to the poor is an equitable share of the world’s goods. God expects such equity, as His decrees are “to be observed with truth and equity.” (Ps 111:8b).

Now God created a wonderful world of abundance, where there should be enough for everyone. But the world’s goods are unevenly and not equitably shared. There are the very rich and the very poor. God then expects the rich to share with the poor. To the rich man who wanted “to inherit eternal life” (Mk 10:17b), Jesus said, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mk 10:21b).

“At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” (Mk 10:22). Now notice that the rich man kept the commandments from his youth (Mk 10:19-20). But now, even his eternal salvation was under threat. “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mk 10:23). Is it wrong to be wealthy? No. But it is wrong not to share with the poor and care for the least of our brethren.

Most if not all look to possessions, even wealth. These are supposed to be blessings. And they indeed are, but only if we handle our resources in the right way, according to the ways of God. We must always be mindful of the needs of the poor, and of the call to justice.

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