So onto the homily of yesterday's Gospel message. We read Lk 6:17, 20-26 which talks about Jesus speaking to His disciples and a great crowd. He gives the talk which many of you are probably familiar with, "Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours...Behold, your reward will be great in heaven...But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation...Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.” Father Kirby talks to us about this message. He starts off by telling us that though many of us are struggling financially in this economy today, we are still rich compared to millions of others in this world. Ones that go to sleep every night hungry and have no shelter. Like the people in Haiti, he brought up the news article of the tent cities that have been put up there and that they are in need of waterproof tarps to replace their sheet made tents. He goes on to say that this Gospel message doesn't so much talk and compare those whom are rich or poor financially because Jesus actually doesn't ever put down the notion of having financial wealth or that it's better to be poor.
So Father Kirby asks all of us, in this sense and Jesus' message how do we know if we are rich or poor? When Jesus refers to the poor here, He's speaking of those who have a humble heart, those who have hunger for God's mercy, and those that endure life's sufferings and fully put their trust in God alone. The rich are those whom put their trust in anything or anyone before God - and he labeled them a parodical Atheist. Which makes sense because even though those "rich" are aware of God they imitate the characteristic of an Atheist because they put their trust in something else. The priest gave examples...there are many who put their trust in their job gaining their feeling of security there, there are many who put trust into their wealth and what is in their back accounts, there are many who put their trust into their Family Name finding security there. And Father Kirby said, many of these parodical Atheist sit in a church pew every Sunday. Father Kirby even felt there are many Catholics whom are parodical Atheist because they put more trust into the prayers they say or the good deeds they do, which is wrong our trust must be in God's mercy. Period. When he made that statement I thought to myself "man, so many of my Protestant brothers and sisters would've been shocked to hear that - cause isn't prayers, traditions, fasting, good deeds, etc. what the Catholic Church teaches justifies us. Clearly no, and Father Kirby confirms this...we're justified only by God's grace and all of our trust should be put in Him."
So which are you, rich or poor?