Message of the Week

You Turned My Mourning into Dancing

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Does the Christian duty to help the poor seem to be overwhelming?  We hear more and more about the homeless and jobless.  Even in St. Paul’s time there was more than enough poverty to go around.  He was trying to build interest (in our second reading) in a project to help the Christians in Jerusalem.  We see two of his reasons here.

First, he tells what fine Christians they are, and hopes that they will be just as good in giving to his collection.  Paul is challenging them to continue to show their love for God in their support for fellow Christians.  The second reason was to show a good example:  By helping the church in Jerusalem, they would show that Christians were united in faith and love for each other.

The main example he uses is Jesus, who made himself poor (i.e., human) so that we could be rich in grace and forgiveness.  Paul challenges them, and us, to follow that example in giving from our wealth so that others can survive.  Note that he doesn’t expect them to live in poverty, just to share what they have out of love for Christ.

Today, we can ask ourselves, “Do I give to the poor because I feel guilty about all that I have?  Or do I want to show my love for Jesus when I see him in the poor?”  By looking at why we give to charities, we may find ourselves being even more generous than we expected.

Tom Schmidt, Diocesan Publications

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

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