We can make many assumptions about the poor. Are the poor always poor and the rich rich, or can the poor be rich and the rich poor? We know that material goods do not make one rich, in the truest sense of the word, but rather spiritual goods. After all, "there are in the end three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor 13: 13
"Love is the mansion," my husband and I still say as we did when we first married knowing there can be mansions on earth with people living inside and no love in their hearts.
God's work is certainly feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, setting the captive free and sharing the good news. But it's also an interior journey. We need to be about becoming a better Christian, drawing closer to the Lord, and ultimately growing in union with him.
He calls each of us by name to enter deeply into a relationship with him. How do we do that? I shared this at the retreat based on the mysteries of the life of Christ:
God has called us each by name Is 43: 1
to do the work we're doing
in serving the needs of his children.
God reminds us to continue to give our daily fiat--our "Yes,"
to joyfully surrender as Mary did at the Annunciation,
to be hospitable and charitable in our visitations with others,
to allow Christ to be borne in our hearts,
to be obedient to his holy will,
and to keep seeking the Lord first in our life.
He has called each one of us by name,
to be light in the world,
to have a spirit of poverty,
to expect miracles
because he's still a miracle-working God,
to proclaim good news--the gospel of peace--to the poor,
to ask for the spirit of truth to be revealed
in our life and work,
and to offer the gift of ourself for others
as He does in the Holy Eucharist.
God has called each one of us by name
to unite our suffering with his,
to spend time in his presence
allowing him to fill us again and again,
to arm ourselves with his attitude 1Pet 4:1-2
and rejoice in the measure that we share in his suffering.
He encourages us to continue to carry our cross,
and to persevere to the end with forgiveness in our heart.
He has called each one of us by name
desiring us to be transformed from glory to glory,
and to have undying faith in him.
He invites us to be a hope bearer,
and to be open to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
that never ceases.
And finally He asks for our devotion to his mother,
our heavenly mother, Mary,
and to look forward to spending all eternity with them.
And as we embrace this paschal mystery of going forth, dying, and rising, may we experience the fullness of life that the Lord so desires for each one of us.
Grace & peace be with you,