Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit

Yesterday, I had a very lively discussion with a lady I know about the meaning of Christ's words, "Blessed are the Poor in Spirit".  I explained to her that I believe it means that we are to look at everything in our lives, not as something we own or have the right to, but as belonging to God and merely given into our care.  We are stewards, to distribute God's wealth according to His direction, not owners.  In my view, this means that we are all poor, whether we realize it or not, for everything we have comes from Him and belongs to Him.

Her reaction was one of anger and bitterness.  She felt she worked hard for what she had earned in her life, and that I was somehow telling her that her efforts weren't important.  What it brought to mind for her were all the people in her life before she became Catholic who would abuse her, or sin against her, and then tell her it was somehow God's will for her life.  She knew that wasn't true, that a loving God doesn't will His children to hurt each other or to take advantage of each other, and she asked me how I could reconcile the two things with one another.

I explained to her that while everything we have comes from God, and is a gift from Him, it is up to us to cooperate with His grace and make the most of it.  This is where the parable of the servants who were each given talents by their master comes into play.  You see, those stewards were all given these talents by the master without having to do anything at all to earn them.  The servant who took his 10 talents and doubled them cooperated with the master by applying his efforts toward increasing the number of talents he was given.  Thus, he was able to double the value of what he had received by cooperating with grace.

The servant who buried his talents out of fear did not cooperate with grace.  He didn't even acknowledge that what he had received was a grace, and so he treated it as a burden and tried to rid himself of the responsibility for increasing it by burying it instead. The master rightly punished this servant for keeping what was good to himself and not using it for the betterment of the household.

I am no theologian, and no expert on what Christ would say, but I am fairly certain that I have the right of it.  What are your thoughts? What would you have said to my friend to help her understand this teaching better? If you disagree, tell me what I'm overlooking in this.  I'm interested in hearing from you.

Popular Posts