Readings for Thursday March 11, 2010
First Reading: Jeremiah 7:23-28
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 95
Gospel: Luke 11:14-23
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Lk 11:21-23)
The recent disasters in Haiti and Chile have reminded us that in an emergency, there are essentially two types of people; those who help and those who harm. Those who harm seek not to help the situation, but rather to take advantage of it. After the earthquakes caused the devastation that they did, there were people who were looting and taking from others. There were even reports of kidnapping and other sorts of acts that would be considered terrible, crisis or not. There were also people who started to try and scam people out of money, by asking people worldwide for a donation, a donation that made it into someones wallet rather than to help the situations in these countries. There people did nothing to help the situation, all that they did was selfishly make things worse and cause more harm. On the other hand, due to the earthquakes, there was a huge response of help. There were people who gave generously without second thought, there were people and aid agencies who quickly made it down into the countries to help survivors get basic things that they needed. There were also selfless acts by people trying to help those who were trapped under crumbled structures. For all the negative that came out from these disasters, we know that a great loving response followed the tragedy and disaster.
So like the two types of people in a crisis, we see these same two types of people when it comes to Christ and His kingdom. There are people out there who are not helping the situation at all, they are doing nothing to lead people to Christ. In fact these people are living their lives selfishly and only thinking of their concerns. It is these people who are not helping, but rather they are as Jesus says "scattering." Jesus tells us that it is these types of people who are not with Him are against Him. While there are many people out there who are not helping the situation, there are also a great number of people who are helping. It is these people that Jesus mentions as those helping to "gather." There are people who work tirelessly to bring others to Christ and to build up His Church. There are people who are living counter cultural lives and providing powerful examples to those around them. There are people fervent in prayer for those they love and praying for an end to the injustices in our world. Yes, by God's grace, there are many people out there who are helping to gather, rather than scatter.
Remember there are two types of people, those who help and those who hurt ... those who are for God and those who are against God. Which one are you striving to be?
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with in our life. Lord, help us to not ever be apart from you and scattering, but rather close to you and always helping and seeking your will in each situation. Lord, you are so kind and merciful to us, help us to live in this world showing the same kindness and mercy to those we encounter. Lord, you are always near, help us to always stay close and live for you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.