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Friday, 11 February 2022 17:50

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - 2022

Fr Yon Wiryono headshot 150Being a Christian, in this time, is not easy. To be a disciple of Jesus is very challenging, but not impossible. We call ourselves disciples because we have identified ourselves fully with Jesus’ mission; with His vision of life. We believe in Him, listen to Him, and follow Him. Therefore, our identity and purpose in life is actually defined by our relationship with Christ and His Mission.

The Gospel from Luke, that we reflect upon this Sunday is similar to Matthew’s eight beatitudes. I would like to highlight, in this reflection, the ‘paradoxical proclamation’ between the poor and the rich. I know this can be very sensitive, it can lead to confusion among us; namely, that the poor are happy, and the rich are to be condemned. It can lead to a tricky question: Does the Church condemn the world’s poverty, while at the same time, condemn those who are rich? 

On the top of it, our secular society says that to be rich is the purpose of life, and therefore the success of life, depends on the amount of wealth we have, and only by this wealth, we can be happy.

Beatitudes TwitterBut again, Jesus challenge us by saying, to be happy we do not have to be rich, and that is why He also says ‘happy are the poor in spirit’. It sounds complicated, but it is not.

Let’s reflect on this paradox of rich and poor in the spirit of the Kingdom of God.

Let us go back to and identity as Christians and our purpose, for the mission, in the light of the Kingdom of God. Let us try to better understand these words of Jesus, ‘the poor and the rich’, in the context of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is the society that Jesus wants to establish on earth — now and not some time in the future life.

Sometimes, Matthew’s use of the term ‘kingdom of heaven’ can be misleading, because we may think this is not happening now, but only in heaven. This is not the case: —It is now, and that is why we are commissioned to participate in building up the Kingdom on earth, Now, in our time.

As we reflect on Jesus understanding of the poor and the rich, we become much more clear as to what our approach must be to the Kingdom. On how and where we put our security or our trust. The poor are a good example of people who do not rely on anything, rather their trust  is totally in God’s providence. Whereas the rich, ‘tend’ to rely on their wealth, to sustain their life. It does not mean that the rich do not really trust in God at all, or that the poor always put their trust in God.

Of course, that is only an example, but the most important point is, that both the poor and the wealthy are called to be witnesses to the kingdom of God.

The main question is, How do the poor and the rich work together to build the kingdom of God? Both are Children of God; both were created in the image and likeness of God and therefore they share a common humanity, where justice must prevail, with the rich sharing their gifts with the poor, so that there can be no rich or poor in God’s eyes, but all are rich in the Kingdom of God.

This comes back to our identity as Christians. Why do we need to share with others? Why do we take responsibility towards others as a way of caring for one another?

Being Christian is being the body of Christ. It is not just a matter of pity for the poor, but of seeing them, as truly our brothers and sisters, one body, in Christ. 

We are the body of Christ, we are many parts but one body, therefore we, according to our own talents and gifts, poor and rich, in our own way, collaborate together to build and live for the Kingdom.

When we strive to be holy, it includes the way we share. To be holy means to be generous in the Kingdom. In the context of an individualism culture, it may seem quite confronting. Fr Richard Rohr said that When we try to be holy without one another, it doesnt work, because only the Whole is Holy. Individually, we are too small, too fragile, too broken to fully represent the Mystery of Christ”.

Let us pray, that we may be Whole; that we may be One again, either  poor or rich, in order to build and live together in the kingdom.  The Body is not a single part, but many” (1 Cor. 12:14).

The body is not about poor or rich, but it is about many parts, that work together to move and have our being as Church, to enjoy the happiness of the Kingdom, in this world, and in the next.

Last modified on Saturday, 12 February 2022 12:02

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In the spirit of reconciliation, the Society of the Divine Word, Australia Province, acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, sky, and community.

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