Thursday 24 February 2022

About Today Readings

James 5:1-6. Happy are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs – Psalm 48(49):14-20. Mark 9:41-50.

The Godly path is thoughtfulness, generosity and a thirst for justice

Considering today’s readings, who would ever want to be rich? The psalm reminds us ‘Their forms will decay in the grave / far from their princely mansions . . .’. Jesus tells us that all who enter the kingdom of heaven must be purified from self-indulgence: ‘Everyone will be salted with fire.’ Purified by fire! Yikes! James, who sometimes sounds, of all the New Testament writers, closest in style of speech to Jesus, tells the rich, with severe irony, ‘You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter,’ or in some translations, ‘for feasting’, which places the rich right there on the table like cooked meat. Relying on wealth for salvation is a kind of despair, a denial of spiritual hope. God does not hate the rich – but he loathes their priorities and seeks to remind them – for their own good – of the Godly path, which is thoughtfulness for the poor, generosity of heart, and thirst for justice.

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